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Thread: Help...best option for saving an old quilt.

  1. #1
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St. Paul, MN

    Help...best option for saving an old quilt.

    My grandma made each of her grandchildren (100+) a quilt before she died. This is mine which I've had for about 45 years. It has become very worn, so I skinned the back and batting off because they were very worn out. Overall the top looks to be in good condition except for the outside border. As you can see from the closeup it is very fragile and worn thin - might not show in the picture, but you can see my fingers through the fabric.

    If I trim the outside border down it will become too small for real use on a bed. I will be hand quilting it following many of the same lines my grandma used and I will continue to use the quilt because that was her wish that we love, use and remember her with our quilts.

    I'm looking for opinions. Is there something I can do to enlarge the quilt just a bit without making it look bad? I was thinking of trimming the border down to about a 2" to get back to the good fabric and then adding a 4" muslin border which would be enough for size. The green sashing is a generous 4" throughout the quilt. I appreciate all feedback.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma
    There are many reproduction fabric colors of the period of the quilt. Your idea of triming down is a good one.
    I suggest you find a compatiable solid and add it to enlarge the quilt.

  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Texas, USA
    This idea may or may not be of any use . . . but many years ago, my daughter had a cloth doll, which was very love-worn, to the point where I was afraid to even wash it. I took it apart and sewed a lightweight lining to the fabric, which greatly eased the stress on the seams. Just wondering if that would work on a quilt top. The lining could be carefully hand-stitched "in the ditch" and possibly strengthen it enough for quilting. Like I said, it's just an idea and may or may not be worthwhile.

  4. #4
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    St. Louis suburbs
    I have bought many old vintage quilt tops and have done as you are suggesting. I add a solid border to the quilt top and it works just great. Your grandmother pieced a very lovely quilt top. Love these !

  5. #5
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I would look for 1930 reproduction fabric yardage in a turquoise small flower or other tiny motif. I would sew the new fabric border right over the whole thin border on the outside. Just move the stitching line a little more into the white so that you have a stronger stitching line. I would run a little strip of batting join tape under the split section to reattach it and then hand quilt the whole quilt again. I would bind it with the same yardage. This way you haven't really changed the quilt but persevered it as much as possible.

  6. #6
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    home again, after 27 yrs!
    Blog Entries
    I bought some old blocks at a quilt show many years ago and used some light weight fusible interfacing on the back of them to help give them more stability. You might try that too.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

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