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Thread: Opinions on finishing a top?

  1. #1
    oarai's Avatar
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    Hello! I'm new around here, but I'm in need of opinions on something, so I thought I would ask some of you who are more knowledgeable about these things for advice.

    See, here's the thing. I've got this quilt top made many years ago by my great grandmother. My mother has ended up with several of them, and they're mostly just packed up in boxes or in storage, because until I decided to learn how, there was no one else in the family who could do anything with them.


    Squares quilt by unkrikkett, on Flickr


    Squares quilt by unkrikkett, on Flickr

    As you can see (apologies for the not-great quality of them, I was trying to get shots so I could get it folded up and stashed away before Mom saw), it's pretty much just squares on top of squares, and in need of a bit of repair before much can be done.

    Now, my current plan is to try and fix it up and finish it out into something usable for my mother for Mother's Day, since she did not get any of Great-Grandma's finished quilts.

    My big question is would this even be feasible? I'm not entirely sure of the age of the top, so I don't want to stress it out too much if I shouldn't.

    Of course, is it even feasible? Would I be better off leaving it as-is, and not trying to finish off something like this? Second thoughts and good intentions and all of that.

  2. #2
    Becky13's Avatar
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    I think it would be great if you were to finish them. I can't really tell what repairs are needed, but I would think a basic in the ditch machine quilting would be in character with the simplicity of the quilt.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Personally, I would fix it and finish it. It is so sad when all of these tops end up in boxes never to be loved. Just my opinion. I have many tops and my plans are to get them finished and off to new homes. How many quilts can one person really use. The ones that are important to me are the ones my Mom made, not my own.

  4. #4
    Senior Member quiltstodo's Avatar
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    You could also just tie the quilt. I have several older quilt that were tied and we use them all the time.

  5. #5
    oarai's Avatar
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    Hrm... I suppose I could do it up like that. I hadn't thought about just tying it up!

    Just nerves, I guess. I'm just skittish about messing it up.

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Give all of the squares a good tug, if they tear or seams let loose, replace/repair those blocks/seams. Mom will love getting this finished quilt, what a great gift :D:D:D

  7. #7
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Go for it girl. Give that quilt some life and usage. Your Mum will be thrilled with whatever you decide to do to finish it.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    I would finish it too. Its beautiful!

    If you decide to tie it, I would suggest that you put a tie in each corner of each block. I would put the tie ends on the back since the blocks are very brightly colored, or it could get too busy looking. Take a good look at the batting you are going to use to make sure that you can tie it at the size intervals that are needed (ex. every 4-5 inches or more). A cotton-poly blend will probably give you the most flexibility as to the distance that tacking will need to be spaced. Use a pearl cotton or embroidery floss for the ties. Tie with a square knot.

    There isn't enough time to find a hand-quilter to quilt it for you before Valentine's Day but you could have it quilted by a long arm quilter. That's not exactly in keeping with a vintage quilt but it may preserve the integrity of the fabrics longer than tying it will.

    The important thing is to have the fabrics held down well enough that they won't shift around and rub which would damage the fibers faster. Ties can have the tendency to allow to much shifting if they are spaced too far apart. They can also cause pulling at the places where they are placed and over time that can cause damage to the fabric fibers. It really depends on how you plan to use it in the future. Will it just lay on a bed as an attractive cover but not be slept under? Will it see daily duty? Will you display it in some way? The answers to questions like this should help to lead you in the appropriate direction.

    It's really a lovely thing to have. I wish you the best with it.

    Rose

  9. #9
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose L
    I would finish it too. Its beautiful!


    The important thing is to have the fabrics held down well enough that they won't shift around and rub which would damage the fibers faster. Ties can have the tendency to allow to much shifting if they are spaced too far apart. They can also cause pulling at the places where they are placed and over time that can cause damage to the fabric fibers. It really depends on how you plan to use it in the future. Will it just lay on a bed as an attractive cover but not be slept under? Will it see daily duty? Will you display it in some way? The answers to questions like this should help to lead you in the appropriate direction.

    Rose
    I agree with Rose..... the ties can allow too much shifting, especially during the laundering process. When you pick your batting, check the bag to see how far apart they recommend quilting --- if it's recommended every 4 inches, and your ties are further apart than that.... you'll really be disappointed when you wash your quilt.

    Do you have someone near you with a longarm machine? I would do a meander on your quilt, because it will keep those fabrics safe and still look appropriate on your quilt. And you'll still be able to finish your gift by Mother's Day!

  10. #10
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    Whatever you do your Mom will love it. Several years ago I ended up with some tops that no one in the family wanted that were pieced by my grandmother. My daughter took one without telling me and had it quilted by a longarm quilter. It was just a utility quilt made out of blocks from material, clothes, etc. When I opened it on Christmas morning I dissolved into tears.

    mltquilt

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