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Help needed with vintage quilt top

Help needed with vintage quilt top

Old 12-20-2011, 05:57 AM
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Default Help needed with vintage quilt top

My 89 yo mother gave me a top that she hand pieced before she got married 55 years ago. It is with real 1930's fabrics and real feed sacks. I need to repair a couple of seams that are coming loose and the fabric is fraying horribly. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could finish this to keep it intact? I've thought about fusible batting in hopes that that would keep it from fraying more, but this is a 70ish x 80ish quilt and I've read comments that fusible doesn't work well on larger projects. I've thought about interfacing on the back for the same reasons, then using a batting. I've thought about just a regular batting and quilting it using a very narrow zigzag over the seams (kinda like stitch in the ditch but zigzaging over the seam to secure it). Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for your help
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:24 AM
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I have several 1920 - 1940 quilt tops, that were in poor shape when I found them at a yard sale. I made them into wall hangings, as they are to frail to ever be a quilt. After making some repairs by hand, I hand basted and then machined staight sticked them to solid colored bed sheets. The pieces were small enough that I was able to stitch in the ditch.
Some day I will get camera working and send pictures.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:44 AM
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I use fusible batts on huge quilts - on some of the old quilt tops I've bought, it's been a huge blessing to help keep that fabric under control until I can get it "nailed down" with quilting.

Pressing the back of the quilt, first, and getting it to lie flat will be a big help.

It IS a giant pain in the neck to get it basted, but I put together a huge 8-foot basting table with sawhorses to support it, 2x4's across those, then three more 2x4's across those to support the OSB plywood.

I try to baste a lot of quilts all at one time because the basting table is cumbersome to set up and it takes up half the living room. But, before the table, I was crawling around on the floor, basting quilts - even the fused ones!

You will need to fuse the top, then turn it over and fuse the backing to the batt. I always add pins or use the tagging gun to re-inforce the fusing, especially along the edges of the quilt. I pull the excess backing around to the front, roll/fold it and pin it like a protective envelope over the edge, so that the fraying parts aren't exposed to any more abrasion.

It's a lot of work, but it's worth it to save one of these old tops. I would quilt it pretty heavily - not more than two inches apart, even though the batt allows up to five inches, if I remember correctly. All that extra stitching will help support the old fabric with the new, strong backing. Best of luck!
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:52 AM
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I recently made a quilt using my Mom's old fabric that I inherited when we cleaned out her house. My Mom would have been 100 yrs. this year so that dates some of the pieces. Any way some of the pieces were quite thin so I used Pellon SF101 on the back of all the flowers that were to be appliqued. It is fusible and gave all the pieces the extra body I thought they needed and now I don't have to worry about them coming apart when the quilt is washed.
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