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Thread: How to care for a vintage quilt top

  1. #1

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    Jul 2008
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    Hi everyone, I bought this vintage quilt top on ebay. It just arrived in the mail today! It was machine pieced in the 1940s. The pattern is Grandmother's Flower Garden. I believe the fabrics are feedsacks. It's in beautiful condition and I want to add a back and handquilt it. I would like to wash it first, but don't know how and what to use. I have a front load washing machine that has a delicate/handwash cycle. Could I do that? And what type of detergent should I use? Also, should I press it after it's been washed?

    The backside of a block.
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  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I'd wash it on gentle, using regular detergent and a dye catcher. Dry on the line or in machine with a big towel and iron before fully dry. There's always a bit of the unknown with old tops, but if you don't prewash and it shrank or the dye ran after you assembled it, you'd regret not taking the time up front.

  3. #3
    Banned
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    Here is some information for you to check out. A lot depends on the condition of the fabrics and the seams, especially with a front loading washer. I think I'd go with Orvus in the bathtub, just to be safe. Very nice top, it'll be stunning finished off. :-)

    http://www.quilthistory.com/cleaning.htm
    http://www.marilynquilts.com/id23.html
    http://www.centerforthequilt.org/que...ry_soiled.html

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the advice and links! I'm off to do some research.

  5. #5
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    That is a great top!!! Did you get any other history on it other than when it was made?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    That is a great top!!! Did you get any other history on it other than when it was made?
    Actually I did. It was purchased at an estate sale. The lady who pieced it was named Glenna Probert and she was from Hooper, Colorado. One of the blocks has the date 1949 on it. That's all I know though.

  7. #7
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    That is great, I would put all that info on a label! I have some old signature blocks that my aunt and uncle bought at an auction years ago but I have no idea where they are from other than Arkansas, dont know the year either. I would love to know everything about these ladies!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    That is great, I would put all that info on a label! I have some old signature blocks that my aunt and uncle bought at an auction years ago but I have no idea where they are from other than Arkansas, dont know the year either. I would love to know everything about these ladies!
    I find old quilts and blocks fascinating! It's like holding history in your hands. Are you planning to make your signature blocks into a quilt? Do you have photos of them? I'd like to see them. I'll definitely be putting Glenna's name on the quilt along with mine.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I made one similiar to yours last winter- it was fun and I really recommend that you have a long arm quilter baste it for you so the hand quilting is easier. It cost 20 dollars for sandwiching it and basting it and few dollars extra for the thread. Well worth it! http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/8722.page
    Thank you, Loretta! That is a great idea!

  10. #10
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    I had to hunt to find them but here they are. there are 13 of them. I do want to put them together someday
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