Another Quilting question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a question for all you quilters out there. I was given two beautiful old quilts from my Husband's Mother. I plan on spending the time that I am laid up to repair them. Here's the problem! The top's are the crazy type pattern. A lot of the fabric has become weak or has ripped around the stitching. At some point new sections were roughly added over old ones. What would be the proper way to repair this quilt? I have made new quilts, but have never had to repair a quilt this old. All advise would be much appreciated.

-- Shau Marie (, January 13, 2001


Do you have any older scraps that would blend better with the material that was used on the quilt? I have a lot of old quilts from my grandmother and I have had to replace some of the squares over the years. Does the quilt have embroidery stitching around the edges. You might be able to disquise the repairs with matching floss. When I have repaired the badly torn pieces I have sometimes had to add cotton batting to the area carefully restitching it in place. Some I have had to just use the good parts and make pillow shams or such with. Those are only the really bad ones though. If it is just worn around the edge you can sometimes add a new border. My Grandma didn't always use 100% cotton and hers sometimes just wear out on the edge. I love quilts and I hope you have good luck with yours!

-- Nan (, January 13, 2001.

If they are really old quilts, you might think twice before doing any radical reconstrcution on them. It can greatly reduce their value. what I have read says that if you must patch or repair a very old quilt, do not remove the old, worn out patch, even if it's tattered, but very carefully sew a closely matched piece on top of it. You might consider taking it to someone in your area who knows a lot about quilts and can date it for you, and determine the value. Also, don't ever wash them in a washing machine, as it will tear them apart.

-- Rebekah (, January 13, 2001.

That is a viable answer that she gave about the value of the quilt. When I think of repairing a quilt it has always been one that I would use on a bed and not one that is "antique". I have never fixed a very old quilt that was worth a lot of money. I think that the ones that are really old treasures look nice as decorative pieces even if they have some wear. I would be afraid to do much altering of an expensive piece too!!

-- Nan (, January 13, 2001.

I appreciate the advise on the value of these quilts. I spoke to a antique dealer and they advised me to put them up and not touch them. However i tend to live by the "it's not worth much if i can't use it theory". My Husbands Grandmother worked so hard on these. It would be a shame to leave them in a cupboard or trunk and not have the pleasure of their warmth and beauty. You should see Gran's face light up, when she sees them on the beds. I am not that interested in the money value as we will never sell them.

I have damage through out the quilt and i do have old fabic that will work for texture and color, however the patterns will not match. One is hand stitched and very damaged. The other is a bit newer and machine stitched. I am thinking i just stitch a fresh fabric over the old, with out removing the old peice. Is this right?

Thanks for you help. I really want these to be on my Granbabies' beds some day.

-- Shau Marie (, January 13, 2001.

Oh, i forgot! Thanks for the batting tip, i probably would have missed that. :)

-- Shau Marie (, January 13, 2001.

It is really nice you have some thing from your mom that you will be able to pass on. I have a quilt that my mom made and one that my mother-in-law made. THey both need repairing from time to time. THey are not old enough to say they are antique. I just replace the cloth if necessary as these are for using. We have no space for saving these large blankets, and they were made for using. My mom's would not be upset forthese fixes, they would say it was a good idea so the quilts can be used.

-- michelle (, January 13, 2001.

That's kind of my thinking about the using it on the bed unless of course it was a museum piece or something. I would feel real guilty telling you how I fix my quilts and then find out that it is. I would first check the back of the quilt. If you don't have to sew the patch all of the way through to the back it may hold a little better. Most times the backing of the quilt lasts longer than the front. Maybe from the wear of sitting on the bed. I have had pretty good luck with hand mending them. What are the colors of the quilt? Some of us material horders might have some scraps that would go with the front better. I have lots of scraps from my grandmother's quilt piecing boxes. She was quite a prolific quilter. She used to piece at least one quilt a year for my brother and I. I still have all of the ones that she made me. Certainly not museum pieces, but my family and I have cuddled under them for years. I have two that I put back in the cedar chest to save and for the rougher wear I have made the kids one each out of old blue jeans. We don't have any heat but the wood stove, so the 5 or 6 quilts on each bed are not just for looks. hmmmm...About your quilt...It would be lots of fun to know what you were looking for color wise.They really DON'T make them like they used to. I think your Gran would be tickled to see that you have the same care for her quilt that she so obviously did. Seems like careful hand mending lasts longer than the machine stitching does. By the way, this is great visiting about this kind of thing. I didn't even know that there was something like this until yesterday! I am like a kid with a new toy:)!!!

-- Nan (, January 13, 2001.

Oops, I forgot to tell you, Yes you are getting it right. Just stitch the shape that will fit in best to the top over the other piece or pieces. If you don't have to go all of the way through to the backing I wouldn't. (Unless it is a tear all of the way through) Don't anyone cringe or anything, but my Mom zigzagged one of the ones that my Grandma had. That is where I learned that hand mending works better. The one that she zigzagged on the machine promptly fell apart around the edge of the mending. Luckily it was just one of her simpler designs that had been meant for utility. That is the one that I made into shams. The only useable pieces were small. Most with holes all of the way through.

-- Nan (, January 13, 2001.

Nan, thanks for all the help. I am new to the forum also. I am not even a week old yet. I will be sure not to sew through to the back. I am glad for all the tips. I am learning easy isn't always best. As for color's it has patterns and prints of all kinds. Ginham, ticking, fruits flowers, an old Mickey mouse print, calico, butterflie prints and an old farm scene with goats. You name it it's on these quilt's. I am so greatful for this forum. I am very rural and alone alot. Thanks again :)

-- Shau Marie in WI (, January 13, 2001.

Gosh it's nice to see a thread where people aren't angry at one another! God bless!

-- Ardie from WI (, January 15, 2001.

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