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Thread: 89 Year Old Block Finished

  1. #1
    Junior Member jzaaboo's Avatar
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    89 Year Old Block Finished

    I started quilting as a teenager and my Dad told me his mom quilted; she would make tops but never quilt them. I was 3 when my grandmother died, so I didn't remember her. I stopped quilting when my son was born, and started up again 3 years ago. I had made my Dad's sister, Aunt Joy, a quilt two years ago, and she loved it. She said she had some blocks of her mother's that she worked on when she was pregnant with her. My aunt is almost 89 years old. Joy had always intended to finish them, but never did. She said it was her Mom's plan to blanket stitch them. I was excited to get them, they were Sunbonnet Sue blocks, she called them "Dutch Girl". They were in poor condition, just hand basted, and all of them have brown age stains on them. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of SS, but I blanket stitched the one out of the 20 blocks that were facing right, the remainder are facing left. It was hard to take out basting stitches that old, I almost wanted to leave them in. I made the blocks around it with actual 20's and 30's fabric, plus some reproductions I had. I scrubbed it with a paste made out of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Borax, and the stains came out!

    I'm planning to give this block to Joy, I'll going to either make it a wall hanging or get it framed, depending on what she prefers. I'm going to fly to El Paso next week to show it to her. I'll make the other blocks into a quilt, but make wall hangings out of 4 of them to give to my brothers and sisters. I'm going to finish these so they don't go another 89 years without being completed.
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  2. #2
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Will you be putting the grandma's name on it somewhere? I think that it would be sweet for anyone seeing it to know who made it and when.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  3. #3
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Wow, what a lot of work to get the stains off. You did a good job and I am sure your Aunt Joy will be overwhelmed by having one of these finished up.

  4. #4
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    Wow...what a great quilt to have the privilege to work on.

  5. #5
    Junior Member jzaaboo's Avatar
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    Yes, I am going to put the history on the label, and on the full quilt will likely make an embroidered block. The full quilt will have a 12.5" square of 1.5" blocks alternating with the Sue's.

  6. #6
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    How nice of you to finish something so special for your Aunt!! Turned out great!!!
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  7. #7
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    great idea framing it. or a pillow. wow, 89 yrs old!
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    what a treasure... nicely done
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  9. #9
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    Have you tried a product called retro clean? It works well on mature fabrics...
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  10. #10
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    What a treasure this is for you to work on. No one in my family has anything that a prior grandma or aunt has made.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  11. #11
    Member quilts again's Avatar
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    Velvet Crazy Quit

    jzaaboo ,You got me thinking. I have a velvet crazy quilt top pieced and embroidered by my grandmother and aunt that must be at least as old as your grandmother's blocks. My grandmother died when I was three years old also. My only memory of her was her giving me money from a can.

    I apologize if this got posted two times. Computer is a little wonky today.


    Last edited by quilts again; 03-21-2015 at 05:38 PM.

  12. #12
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    What an honor to do something like that! Looks great! I know your Aunt will be so happy!
    Family is a priority, not a convenience!
    Take time to be friendly... It's the road to happiness.
    Take time to give... It is too short a day to be selfish.


  13. #13
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    Sew happy for you. This turned out great and I am sure that your Aunt will love it. Be sure to show us the finished quilt. Thanks for sharing. BrendaK
    Be kind to yourself, by being kind to others. When you help others you help yourself.

  14. #14
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    This is a great story, a wonderful way to connect with your personal history, and a superb gift for your aunt. I bet she'll cry from happiness when you give her the finished block!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  15. #15
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    What a good thing you are doing! Love the fabrics. Good luck with your project!

  16. #16
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    You have done a beautiful job....well done for taking on this epic 'work in progress'. I love to see things finished. Thanks for sharing with us.

  17. #17
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    How nice of you to pick up what will turn out to be family treasures. Grandma would be very proud of you.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    Goes to show that any UFO can eventually get done
    Aunt Joy will be so thrilled with her wall hanging!
    Helen T.

  19. #19
    Super Member hairquilt's Avatar
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    Cool!! I've not seen the feet that shape before & really like it! Beautiful block! You done good girl!

  20. #20
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    What a special tribute to someone special! It would be so easy to 'pitch' such items-but they are so worth saving. I know that they will be appreciated by those who receive them.

  21. #21
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    great treasure!!!
    QUILTNMO

  22. #22
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Wow!! Beautiful Sues!! I see feedsack fabric in these!
    Be the best that you can be at everything you do.
    Find me on Facebook at Leesa's Fabrics

  23. #23
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    How adorable and such a wonderful treasure for you and your family.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  24. #24
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    You are blessed to receive these blocks. Beautiful

  25. #25
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    What a wonderful save and tribute.

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