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Thread: Restoring quilt made in the 1920/30's

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3
    My mother was about to throw out a quilt made by her grandmother because some of the pieces were in tatters. I looked closely and discovered that it was the same material that had worn out wherever it appeared in the quilt and that the rest was sound.

    The quilt is a Lone Star pattern - lots of diamonds. I know these aren't for beginners to make. But I wonder if I could fix it myself by appliqueing diamonds on top of the worn out pieces? Is that tremendously difficult? I have a local store that sells 30's style material.

    Any advice appreciated. The store said that I should get it professionally fixed, but I'd rather do it myself. Would that be a tremendous mistake?

    Thanks for suggestions.

    penelope

  2. #2
    Leslee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    358
    No, I don't think that's a mistake at all. Even if a quilt was in absolute total tatters, I bet any of us would find something of it to save. A pillow, a little framed bit as a wall hanging, whatever. If you only have some diamonds to replace, YES! go ahead and pick a great fabric, prewash it and make a template. I'd use clear plastic and add that 1/4" seam for turn-under, then go ahead and blind-stitch those patches in with a matching cotton thread. If you find the job overwhelming or if it's just not working out, you can always have it done professionally. I love the idea that you'd like to give it a try yourself, Penelope.

    One of our guild members (Sewsweet) has mentioned a helpful website and one of the topics on it is Quilt Repair and Care. You might get more ideas there! It's one of the topics in the Links and Resources thread, called "Lots of quilting information".

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Shelton, Fairfield County, CT
    Posts
    60
    Hi Penelope
    Yes, it is OK to do that if you want to use it, but if you want to preserve it as a heirloom and keep the $ value of the quilt, you should not repair it unless you have fabric from that decade. To protect it, you can buy some silk organza or tulle, cover the raged patches, and sew it over by hand. I know there is a specific fabric that is used for that purpose, but I do not know the name. I think you should do some research on line before you decided what to do. If you are a member of a quilt group, not only you can ask someone for advice (make sure the person knows the subject), but you can also look in their library for books on antique quilts and how to restore them. Another option is to ask a quilt appraiser; if you do not know one, usually they are available during quilt shows for a small fee. And if you do that, you will have a certificate for your home insurance.
    Good luck.
    Lucia
    PS. NEVER dry clean your quilt.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Shelton, Fairfield County, CT
    Posts
    60
    Leslee, not always! See the message I sent to Penelope. I have a friend that she bought an old quilt in really a bad condition; her thought was to cut it and make a doll quilt for an antique doll bed she has. She had various old quilts and decided to have those appraised. It was the most valuable one in her collection. It was worth & 1200.00! As a result, the little bed has a reproduction that she made and gave it the old look by tea dying it...
    Lucia

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3
    Leslee and Lucia,

    Thank you both for the suggestions. I will do some more investigating -- perhaps get it appraised -- before jumping in.

    Penelope

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    428
    Penelope, you may want to try this method; Once you've chosen your fabric, cut as many diamonds as you'll need out of freezer paper, iron this to the RIGHT side of your fabric shiny side of the freezer paper down, cut these diamonds out leaving approximately 1/4" seam allowance, pin the diamonds in place then using the freezer paper template as a guideline, tuck the seam allowance under as you stitch, then just pull the freezer paper off. Let us know what you decide and please post a picture when it's finished!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for asking! No, I haven't gotten it fixed yet. I'm a novice at this and don't want to take a wrong step.

    I will have my husband take a picture of it as it is. All of it seems in good shape except for the diamonds made out one particular fabric. They are worn out wherever they appear in the quilt. In fact, you can tell where they are by holding up the quilt and looking at it from the back with the light coming through.

    I did get an octogenarian quilting circle at a church to quilt two quilt tops pieced together in the same timeframe. For pictures and a story, here's a link to an entry my blog, A Quilt with Stories.

    http://theanocoaching.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/a-quilt-with-stories/


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