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Making a Whole Cloth Quilt from Antique Table Cloth

Making a Whole Cloth Quilt from Antique Table Cloth

Old 11-05-2014, 11:57 AM
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Default Making a Whole Cloth Quilt from Antique Table Cloth


I need some advice regarding hand quilting a wholecloth quilt.

Many years ago, in a house we had just bought, I found an antique whitework table cloth made of very fine cotton. In the centre is a padded monogram (and the three initials match my own so this has to be some sort of sign!); and these are framed by a “wreath” of very delicate pulled thread work. In the corners are pulled thread work motifs of ribbons and bows. The condition is so perfect I don’t think it has ever been used on the table.

The cloth is large enough for a king size quilt. I plan to back the sections just behind the pulled thread work with a coloured fabric to highlight the motifs and to prevent the wadding/batting showing.

It will be quilted in a hoop. I have a general idea which pen to use for marking out the quilting lines but…

What batting/wadding to use – as it is so large, I don’t want it too heavy. I prefer natural fibres and a relatively low loft. As for future laundering it will have to be sent out as my washer won’t take anything that large.

What kind of backing fabric – plain or pattered; white or colour?

What brand of quilting thread – I have hand quilted two quilts before (1 whole and 1 patchwork) with YLI Glazed thread and I do not like it. It is like quilting with fishing line and in this instance it would be too thick. Guttermann quilting thread isn’t great either.

Quilting Motifs and design – Thinking about keeping it simple to let the embroidery shine but just a plain grid is too boring? What do you think?

I am setting myself the goal to do it now that winter is here and get it done by the summer.

Any tips, hints, suggestions, recommendations will be gratefully received.

Many thanks

HettyB is offline  
Old 11-05-2014, 12:11 PM
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Cindy Needham has made quilting vintage linens her specialty. Here is a link to her blog perhaps you can glean some pointers from there.

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Old 11-05-2014, 12:47 PM
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If you can afford it, silk batting is very light in weight and easy to hand quilt. Seems suitable for this quilt. Hobbs has one that is 90% silk in their Tuscany collection. You might want to pre-shrink this batting (if it is possible to pre-shrink it; I'm not sure about that) as it can shrink up to 5%.

I would not want to send this quilt to the cleaners, as chemical cleaning isn't the best for fabrics. When it has to be washed, I would take it to a laundromat and wash it myself in their largest front-loading washing machine, then take it home and lay it out flat on sheet-covered carpeting to dry (with fans on it to speed drying).

The glazed hand quilting threads are made that way to prevent tangling. You can try quilting a sample with regular thread and see if you like it. When I have used regular cotton thread to hand quilt, I have found that it has a tendency to knot up on me (before I finish the line of quilting!). However, you can run it through beeswax or Thread Heaven to make it smoother and less likely to knot. Here are some links:
I would also make sure that the regular thread is a high-quality thread such as Prescencia, as this type of thread will be more smooth and less linty (fuzziness of the thread causes drag). Be ***sure*** to try the thread out first before buying tons of it to make sure that you like it better than the glazed threads. My understanding is that most experienced hand quilters prefer the glazed threads.
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