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Thread: Just purchased some old quilt tops, how do I wash them?

  1. #1
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Two of the quilts are grandmothers flower garden tops only. I am going to have to learn how to complete these quilts, but should I wash them first or quilt them first. They have been stored for many years and really need to be cleaned. I am going to hand wash in the bath tub but don't know if I should try that before they are stabalized with the quilting. What do you think?

    This auction was SOOOO much fun. I bought 8 quilts ranging from $10.00 for what they called a cutter quilt (which I will never cut into!!!) to $65.00 for a full size double wedding ring with purple in the middle and no damage anywhere. One is a Sunbonnet Sue that is well loved. I think I will put a new binding on it and restitch the buttonhole stitching where it is needed and then let my grand grandson use it to play on the floor.

  2. #2
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    somebody on here just washed a quilt top by basting some muslin on to the back then washing...to keep the seams covered, to keep the strings from fraying all over the place. I thought it was genius, you should give it a try!

  3. #3
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    You are so lucky , post pictures .A cutter quilt ( if I am not mistaken) is a heavy quilt that was used in horse and buggy days; that they covered up their laps and legs with to stay warm.

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    A cutter quilt is one that has been very used and parts are not reparable. Pieces of it can be salvaged to use for other craft items.

    The horse and buggy quilt may also go by that name as some of the buggys were called cutters.(?)

  5. #5
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Lucky you! I love old quilts. I hope you canpost some pictures!

  6. #6
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Please post pictures!!! What a wonderful find!

  7. #7
    Cathie_R's Avatar
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    I love old quilts and buy tops whenever I find them reasonable. However, I usually finish them before washing. Was always afraid they would come apart.

  8. #8
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    You raise a good question. I love to buy old tops and quilt them myself but I like to soak them first and air dry. It's more enjoyable for me to work on them that way. I had one problem years ago with a top coming apart but I machine washed it. I was new to quilting and didn't even notice the seams which weren't done very tight. I still used the fabrics for another quilt though.
    Thanks for the post! I'm enjoying all the opinions :D
    Oh and congrats for getting the bargains!!!!!!! Isn't it FUN???

  9. #9
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    What a wonderful find! I love the vintage tops and am always on the lookout for them. I always completly finish quilting and binding before washing. Some have had pieces that were fragile, these I backed with fusible web. Some have been pretty dirty but came out fine after all was done with a gentel wash/spot treating. Please post pictures, we'd love to see them. Enjoy!

  10. #10
    Power Poster
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    If you feel the need to wash them, how about basting a sheet to them and make sure you "wrap" it around the edges of the top to stabilize them and minimize fraying?

    If you have allergies and the tops are making you react, perhaps you could get someone else to do it for you?

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