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Thread: What should I do with old quilts?

  1. #1
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Yesterday I was "gifted" with a huge box of goodies. There was lace, felt, patterns, velour, leather, flannel and several old cutter quilts. There was a wool comforter which I'm going to try to find a new home for since I'm allergic to it, an old crazy quilt in sad condition--really sad; three others that I'd like to restore and a double nine patch top that some idiot has cut the centers out of all the small nines. Can these be washed before being restored? Most have old cotton batting a few have blankets or heavy muslin, one doesn't have batting, it's just backed with heavy feed sacks--it's the smallest and will be the easiest to restore. What would be the best way to get them to smell better and feel cleaner before trying to work with them?

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I've done a lot of work with old quilts and fabrics.
    From what you wrote and not seeing pics I would soak as many things as I could by hand and tumble dry on low or air-dry (my favorite way). If the quilts are all together I have washed them ( I usually pre-soak quilts in the machine first) and dry on low or again, air dry. I don't like working with anything unless it's cleaned first! Can you post some pics???
    Hope this helps! :D

  3. #3
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I'll try. I usually quilts out on a bed to take pix and that's just not going to happen with these. I know where they came from and where she got them but I don't know where that lady got them. Maybe I can hang them over the porch railing. It may be a situation where I just have to throw them away but that would be a last resort.

  4. #4
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    sometime quilt restorers like to have the old quilts for their restoration work. Even tho some of the fabric is tattered and torn parts may be usable. Also after cleaning you might consider taking the quilts apart and using or selling the blocks. I have seen large chunks of older fabric in antique stores. How old are the quilts

  5. #5
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I don't know how old they are. One lady had them but they weren't from family or anything, I'm not sure where or how she came by them. She gave them to a friend of mine that kept 3 to make Christmas stockings from. The rest she gave to me. I just took some pix so hopefully I'll be able to post them.

  6. #6
    Super Member thequilterslink's Avatar
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    at a recent craft show i was at, the woman had made heart shaped ornaments out of cutter quilts, they were really cute, she also made cards out of some of them, cutting shapes and putting on cards, button hole stitched around the shape. really cute

  7. #7
    Senior Member ncsewer's Avatar
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    I have seen old quilts have the good blocks cut and those framed. Great decorations for a sewing room.

  8. #8

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    When I air out my quilts,I put a flat sheet on the ground,then the quilt, and place another flat sheet on top. You can leave it all day and not worry about the sun fading it. On a porch rail,this will eventually break or fray old fabric. A friend of mine gave me 3 old quilts and wanted one of them to be cut up into pillows for some gifts to his family and I got the other 2 quilts. I cut out the 14 inch blocks then I faded a repro fabric, by washing in the dishwasher,I cut 21/2 strips and sewed them around the pillow and added cotton batting,then I tied the added strips to match the original work. It took a little time but they made perfect pillows for the old rockers and antique chairs. His family love them and I got 5 sets of pillows for my family.

  9. #9
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Yesterday I was "gifted" with a huge box of goodies. There was lace, felt, patterns, velour, leather, flannel and several old cutter quilts. There was a wool comforter which I'm going to try to find a new home for since I'm allergic to it, an old crazy quilt in sad condition--really sad; three others that I'd like to restore and a double nine patch top that some idiot has cut the centers out of all the small nines. Can these be washed before being restored? Most have old cotton batting a few have blankets or heavy muslin, one doesn't have batting, it's just backed with heavy feed sacks--it's the smallest and will be the easiest to restore. What would be the best way to get them to smell better and feel cleaner before trying to work with them?
    Possibly my favorite but backing and most of the cotton batting have been removed. MANY of the pieces have shredded
    Name:  Attachment-70380.jpe
Views: 580
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    Okay, this isn't an old quilt it's my daughter and her A+A+ bug collection. She got a A+ for the variety and number of insects and an A+ for arrangment and labeling
    Name:  Attachment-70381.jpe
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    this one is just a top with centers cut out
    Name:  Attachment-70455.jpe
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    missing centers. I think this one will be relatively easy to fix
    Name:  Attachment-70456.jpe
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    This one is small, no batting, backed with heavy feed sacks
    Name:  Attachment-70457.jpe
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    cotton batting, some holes in top and batting, not too bad, hand quilted with heavy thread
    Name:  Attachment-70458.jpe
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    Love this one, but sadly pieces are missing
    Name:  Attachment-70459.jpe
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    batting is an old blanket
    Name:  Attachment-70460.jpe
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    the best of the bunch, nothing really wrong with this one except a few minor moth holes, but it's wool so it's going back---allergies
    Name:  Attachment-107182.jpe
Views: 572
Size:  79.1 KB
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
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    Don't that just make you sick!!! If people realized how much time and work went into a quilt they might take better care of them......but I doubt it! :evil:

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