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Thread: Repairing an Antique Quilt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Repairing an Antique Quilt

    I just received an antique quilt made by my great great grandmother. It has several areas that appear to have just pulled away from the rest of the quilt. I would like to repair the quilt, but don't really know how to repair it. I also wonder if I should repair the quilt. It will be handed down to my son when the time is right. My dad remembers the family using this quilt when he was a little boy. The date on the quilt is 1922. It is all hand stitched and quilted. I have read some posts that suggest putting netting over the area, but this is not that kind of worn, others discuss adding a piece of fabric over the worn area, again not that kind of wear. Just looks like I could invisable stitch the individual layers together and then add a few quilting stitches to repair it. What would you do. Repair it and how? Not repair it at all? Or other suggestions.

  2. #2
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I think I would do the invisible stitches and the quilt stitches. It wouldn't show and would keep the seam from opening even further. Research care of vintage fabric and textiles.
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  3. #3
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I would do what you suggested, it will make it last longer and will not detract from the quilt in any way.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Southern California
    I always referred to a book called "Quilt Restoration A Practical guide" by Camille Dalphond Cognac. It is an excellent guide to various situation that older quilts face. She has many options to choose from. You might ask around and see if anybody has a copy for sale. It was published in 1994 by EPM. Good Luck
    Last edited by ManiacQuilter2; 04-01-2013 at 02:09 PM.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Piedmont Virginia in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns.
    I was going to recommend the same book.
    If you feel there is monetary value over, say, $400 to your family quilt, you might want to have an appraiser evaluate it first. Sometimes repairs DE-value these older quilts. Many, many of them are less valuable than we think or wish they would be, so repair in order to save them for passing down in the family is a very good, respectful idea.
    By the way, the "netting" you are referring to is called crepeline and is a silk organdy material that is nearly invisible; used by museum restorationists, it may not be absolutely necessary in your project as it's quite expensive. You could use the finest weight, smallest hole bridal tulle you can find instead.

    Jan in VA

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Southeastern Indiana
    Good luck with restoring your antique quilt. I have a postage stamp quilt that my husbands grandmother made in the 1920's that has several worn almost gone blocks and I'm not doing anything with them, but I'm replacing the binding that is in shreds. The fabric I picked out is just a smidgen darker than what was used in the quilt but I'm not worried about that. We just want to display the quilt in the guest room.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I agree with Jan in VA- if you think there is any monetary value to the quilt, have it appraised first. Often repairs detract from the value, occasionally they will help. An appraiser can guide you which way would be better.

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