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Thread: Can you sew a vintage quilt with the sewing machine?

  1. #1
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Can you sew a vintage quilt with the sewing machine?

    A friend told me yesterday that a relative recently found 60 year old materials that were going to be sewn into a quilt. They were in a trunk of my friend's sister that had been in storage.

    I think she said the pieces were made from potato sacks. Her friend, who quilts, is going to complete the quilt, and they are wondering if it is sewn on machine will it still be considered a heirloom or antique?

    Does the thread type matter? Are there any other pointers you can think of?

    I sure think it's a wonderful find, and told her I belong to a great quilt group that will likely have the answers!

  2. #2
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Piedmont Virginia in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns.
    Absolutely yes!
    In our country, sewing machines did not go into mass production until the 1850's, when Isaac Singer built the first commercially successful machine. Yet within less that 25 years, there were tens of thousands of machines in homes across the country. In the newly struggling homes of "the wild west", the tgreadle sewing machine ofgten held a place of honor and can often be seen standing with the family outside their "soddy'; homes o the prairies.

    Women weren't stupid! They were put upon. But they knew to use ever possible help available to them for the massive amout of work for which they were responsible in a day and night.

    I have seen quilts from the 1870s that have not only been machine pieced but machine quilted as well. Surely 1870s quilts are more than "vintage".

    When questions like these come up, in general, I ask the questioner/"police" if they card their own batts as well as doing everything else by hand.

    Yes, machine piece it if you wish!

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  3. #3
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    she probably meant flour sacks? which are printed cotton and were used in quilt making and sewing. I would consider it a vintage quilt, let's not forget machines have been around for 150 years!!

    Now there are some people who say if you add one piece of fabric to a 100-year-old quilt, you no longer have a 100 year old quilt. I would say it is an old quilt with a new repair.

    I would describe your friend's quilts as "made of vintage blocks and recently completed." I have finished off several older tops like that.

  4. #4
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Yes , by all means use a machine. No matter is hand sewn or machine , it will be a "new" quilt made with authentic vintage/antique fabrics.

  5. #5
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    I agree with Jan, I've seen LOTS of vintage quilts that were machine pieced. Just because you use a machine doesn't diminish the "vintage-ness" of the quilt.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"

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