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Thread: Unfinished 70 year old quilt top

  1. #1
    Senior Member jograma's Avatar
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    I inherited a quilt top that is about 70 years old from my mil that was hand sewn by her grandmother. It was never quilted. I intend to hand quilt it but I need suggestions on what kind of batting to use, and what fabric to use on the back. It has to be all cotton because of its age but don't know if it has ever been washed. Should I hand wash it first? Should I add a border? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    Lovely! Does it have any odors or stains? My after it is quilted. I would quilt it with cotton. It is a great treasure to have. Lucky you!!! I have a 46 year old quilt top that I am still working on. Maybe I might pass it on?!

  3. #3
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    Sorry I can't offer any advice -- but the quilt top is just lovely! What a treasure!

  4. #4
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    Wow what a super treasure you have there!!!! I love the design/pattern. I would use a nice cotton batting like Quilters Dream cotton, plus I would use muslin on the back so it looks more like the timeframe in which it was pieced. Good question about washing it - I can see pros and cons on that one.

    Good luck and please post a picture after you finish it,
    Sherryl
    Candlequilter

  5. #5
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    beautiful, but don't have any advise for you

  6. #6
    Super Member plainjane's Avatar
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    I'm afraid if you washed it now, it would ravel, even if you hand washed it and that would be a tragedy! I agree with the cotton batting and a muslin back. That is my kind of quilt!

  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Unless it is offensive to work on, I wouldn't wash until it is quilted and bound. It will be stronger then. I wash my 50 year old ones in the washer on gentle with a long soak and a short agitation cycle. An Oxyclean soak didn't seem to hurt the colors any and it brightened the whites.

    Yours is lovely. It could have been made by my grandmother. I posted two of hers last week.

  8. #8
    Super Member marilynr's Avatar
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    What a beautiful quilt. Think how long it would have taken
    to hand sew every stitch. I cannot even imagine. Treasure it forever.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I want to chime in on the admiration of it. The colors are still wonderfully fresh. I wonder if the woman who made it cherished the hope that someone would finish it one day and that it would stay in her family. I hope that when you do it, you will include a label that gives names and dates for both you and the maker of the top.

  10. #10
    Super Member skydiver70's Avatar
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    What a treasure you have. I don't believe I would wash until it is quilted due to the fact it may very well ravel a lot and mess up the quilt. It's too beautiful to take a chance on.

  11. #11
    Member bucky383's Avatar
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    I just love this top. i think a narrow border of a period color solid (mabe the lavender or green) would frame it nicely. i agree, not to wash until quited.Just let it air out if musty.
    Seeing tops like these makes me want to learn to hand quilt!

  12. #12
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    What a beautiful treasure you have there!!

  13. #13
    Ginger's Avatar
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    I agree with every one about washing, but you can soak or spray it with Efferdent. It will take out smells and stains. Have done this in the past on blocks I found at garage sales and cross stitches I have done. Let it air dry after. Don't pull and tug till dry. It works wonders!!! Won't run color and whitens whites. Good luck!!! :lol:

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i would NOT wash it before quilting...wait till it is quilted and bound!
    i think bleached muslin would be a really good choice for the back.
    it is beautiful!

  15. #15
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    You are a very luck woman to have such a treasure. The top is just so beautiful, makes me think of my own grandmother. Such memories.

  16. #16
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Man, did you get yourself a treasure!!! I would use warm & natural (or white) and use muslin for the backing. Unless there is something that immediately needs attention on the quilt, I wouldn't wash it until its quilted. If you're concerned about some staining I would just spot clean and call good.

  17. #17
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    My mother used to salvage old quilt tops often.
    Do NOT prewash it. If you want to add a border find some vintage fabric to use, same with the backing or just use muslin. Use whatever batting you're comfortable using. Warm and Natural might give it a more authentic look but mom liked the poly fiber batting and used it. Use cotton quilting thread. It's a beautiful quilt and when finished will be a treasure for sure.

  18. #18
    Member phoenixrose's Avatar
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    Yes, 100% cotton would be wonderful and will pucker up when it's washed. Use muslin on the back.

    Once you have it all done and bound get Vintage Textile Soak and wash the quilt in a front loader only on cold water. Throw in a couple of Shout Color Catchers to pick up any dye that may bleed. Lay it out on a sheet to dry or hang it on a clothesline - fluff it in the dryer for about 15 mintues on low or air dry.

    You will be amazed how even more beautiful it look then!

    Good luck!

    Roseann
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 10-30-2013 at 04:16 AM. Reason: remove advertising

  19. #19
    Senior Member lisalisa's Avatar
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    that is a treasure. I can't imagine the time and energy that went into it. woweee

  20. #20
    Senior Member joann hussey's Avatar
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    How lucky you are! I would use muslin on the back, it will show your hand quilting and keep that old look. wash when finished and all should shrink at that time. I'll take it if you want.LOL

  21. #21
    Super Member chickadeee55's Avatar
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    That is beautiful, what work. I think it is great the you have choosen to hand quilt it and use cotton batting and backing. It will be very nice when done.
    I would not wash it until afterwards. Wow

  22. #22
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    Beautiful treasure.

  23. #23
    Carol Carter's Avatar
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    Now thats one beautiful quilt. Be sure and post the finished product.

  24. #24
    Senior Member qwkslver's Avatar
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    My grandmother-in-law gave me a box of fabric that was given to her by her grandmother. It was over 100 years old. I washed it in cold water and dried it until it was almost dry and pressed it. It did just fine. I made it into a photo quilt.

  25. #25
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    My dream is to have someone find a quilt top in an attic someday and gift it to me!! That is so beautiful! Please post when you are finished..

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