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Thread: Vintage Yo-Yo Quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    I was cleaning out my parent's house after my father passed away this year (mother passed away 3 1/2 years ago) and I found a yo-yo quilt. I promise to post a pic when my camera battery charges (hate it when I grab the camera for a pic and it won't work! lol)

    I remember this quilt from when I was younger and my mother showed it to me. She was going to make one herself, but never got further than a tin full of yo-yo's. I'm sure she told me where she got the quilt, but I can't remember. I like to think it's a family heirloom, but can't be 100% certain. She did a lot of yard sale shopping back then.

    It is obviously quite old and some of the yo-yo's are coming apart. I want to stitch them back together, but I'm wondering if I should start at one corner and re-do all the stitching - or maybe leave original stitching in and do catch each one with an additional stitch or two? It has that old musty smell also and I'm wondering how to get that out. I thought of putting it in the washer on soak, but I'm afraid the spin cycle will be too rough. I also considered putting it on the dryer rack in the dryer on steam to see if that helps. Anyone with suggestions for handling vintage quilts greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Super Member pojo's Avatar
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    I would only stitch it where it is needed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Pics at last...

    Edging flipped over - shows flat side of fabric
    Name:  Attachment-134986.jpe
Views: 1030
Size:  74.9 KB

    Full size yo yo
    Name:  Attachment-134987.jpe
Views: 1002
Size:  98.2 KB

    Close up of some of the broken threads
    Name:  Attachment-135012.jpe
Views: 1254
Size:  92.5 KB

    Edge of quilt
    Name:  Attachment-135014.jpe
Views: 2534
Size:  89.9 KB

  4. #4
    Senior Member trueimage's Avatar
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    Gorgeous!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
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    Beautiful! I have a tin full of yo yos and going to make something some day. I would only sew it back together where it is needed.

  6. #6
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    I"d probably just soak it in the tub, using some Arm and Hammer washing soda, or Borax. Rinse well, gently squeeze out water, roll in a towel and spread out to dry. Someone posted about stuff called Retro Clean that is suppose to be really good for old linens, maybe see about using that.

  7. #7
    Super Member oldswimmer's Avatar
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    Yea, the Retro Clean looks really interesting. I would google that and see what you think. Best of luck!

    Its a beautiful yo-yo quilt, by the way....wish I had one.

  8. #8
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    Amazing the patience that it takes. I guess if you are snowed in it is a great pasttime. I saw one like this up in Murphy NC one time. Beautiful and a treasure since it has family history.

    Blessings, Ruth

  9. #9
    Junior Member bmanley's Avatar
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    This is so beautiful. What a great find. That took a whole lot of work. Should be cherished. Thanks for sharing. :thumbup:

  10. #10
    Senior Member emc1118's Avatar
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    I agree, soaking in a tub, and laying out to dry. Also, stitching where needed. Beautiful!! Wish I had the patience!

  11. #11
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrspete
    Amazing the patience that it takes. I guess if you are snowed in it is a great pasttime. I saw one like this up in Murphy NC one time. Beautiful and a treasure since it has family history.

    Blessings, Ruth
    It will be treasured in my home for sure! If nothing more, it was my mother's. I know her great-grandmother was a quilter. One of my distant cousins has a quilt that she made. She passed away in 1905. Not sure this one is that old... maybe someone on here with more fabric knowledge can date the fabric. Otherwise, I'm unaware of anyone in the family quilting. Now I'm trying! Maybe a recessed gene?

  12. #12
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    Am a BIG yo-yo fan and this quilt is priceless (in my eyes). Thank you for sharing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    That is a beautiful family heirloom. I hope someone else in your family will treasure it when you're gone.

  14. #14
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clem55
    I"d probably just soak it in the tub, using some Arm and Hammer washing soda, or Borax. Rinse well, gently squeeze out water, roll in a towel and spread out to dry. Someone posted about stuff called Retro Clean that is suppose to be really good for old linens, maybe see about using that.
    Just looked up the post on Retro Clean. Wow! That looks amazing! I'm going to try that. Thanks for the tip.

  15. #15
    Kas
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    Super Member Kas's Avatar
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    Looking at the fabrics, I would say the oldest it is would be the 20's or 30's. I would probably fix the holes before I washed it. Very delicate and feminine!

  16. #16
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    I would be inclined to want to put a few stitches in where it looks needed, after a careful examination.

    Sure is a beaut!!

  17. #17
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Its beautiful!

  18. #18
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    I was cleaning out my parent's house after my father passed away this year (mother passed away 3 1/2 years ago) and I found a yo-yo quilt. I promise to post a pic when my camera battery charges (hate it when I grab the camera for a pic and it won't work! lol)

    I remember this quilt from when I was younger and my mother showed it to me. She was going to make one herself, but never got further than a tin full of yo-yo's. I'm sure she told me where she got the quilt, but I can't remember. I like to think it's a family heirloom, but can't be 100% certain. She did a lot of yard sale shopping back then.

    It is obviously quite old and some of the yo-yo's are coming apart. I want to stitch them back together, but I'm wondering if I should start at one corner and re-do all the stitching - or maybe leave original stitching in and do catch each one with an additional stitch or two? It has that old musty smell also and I'm wondering how to get that out. I thought of putting it in the washer on soak, but I'm afraid the spin cycle will be too rough. I also considered putting it on the dryer rack in the dryer on steam to see if that helps. Anyone with suggestions for handling vintage quilts greatly appreciated!
    Oxy-clean take out smells, smoke if any, other stuff that dulls colors. Add a touch of detergent. Just soak it, squish it, rinse it, and lay to dry most of the way. You might finish off teh drying in your dryer.

  19. #19
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    You've got a winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    Pics at last...

  20. #20
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    I agree, the fabrics seem to be maybe some from the 20's, more likely the 30's. I'd try soaking it in a tub, but place a bedsheet in the tub first and use it as a support for the yo-yo top. You may find more of the thread deteriorates, depending on where it was stored. I wouldn't put it in a dryer. My Mom's church group had a very old yo-yo top that they stitched to a dark flannel fabric - that really made the colors "sing" and made it a lot easier to handle and use.

  21. #21
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    Maybe somewhere on the quilt you will find initials or a date. Wouldn't that be great! When you are sewing an area, make sure you look at every piece. I love how the sides are finished. I never saw that before. I, too, would recommend you attach to another piece of previously washed fabric, maybe a light pink sheet. That would bring out some of the colors. I love it!

  22. #22
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    Absolutely stunning quilt. I too love the yo-yo's though I don't have the experience nor patience to make one. enjoy yours and show it off every opportunity you have as it is gorgeous

  23. #23
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    That's a beauty and I swear by Retro Clean- I've used it on some nasty things and it works like magic!! :)

  24. #24
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    I was cleaning out my parent's house after my father passed away this year (mother passed away 3 1/2 years ago) and I found a yo-yo quilt. I promise to post a pic when my camera battery charges (hate it when I grab the camera for a pic and it won't work! lol)

    I remember this quilt from when I was younger and my mother showed it to me. She was going to make one herself, but never got further than a tin full of yo-yo's. I'm sure she told me where she got the quilt, but I can't remember. I like to think it's a family heirloom, but can't be 100% certain. She did a lot of yard sale shopping back then.

    It is obviously quite old and some of the yo-yo's are coming apart. I want to stitch them back together, but I'm wondering if I should start at one corner and re-do all the stitching - or maybe leave original stitching in and do catch each one with an additional stitch or two? It has that old musty smell also and I'm wondering how to get that out. I thought of putting it in the washer on soak, but I'm afraid the spin cycle will be too rough. I also considered putting it on the dryer rack in the dryer on steam to see if that helps. Anyone with suggestions for handling vintage quilts greatly appreciated!
    Put it in the Freezer over night and the smell will be gone the next day. :D

  25. #25
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I was given a couple of old vintage quilt tops that had a heavy musty smell. I didn't want to wash them before they were quilted, so I spread them outdoors out of the sun, but on warm sunny days. I put them out each day, for a few days, until the musty smell was gone. It worked fine, and I didn't have to run the risk of washing them before they were quilted.

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