Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vintage Quilts

I got a FANTABULOUS surprise the other day and I just could NOT wait to share it with you guys! My cousin came by and brought me not one but TWO of the prettiest quilt tops I have EVER seen! They were pieced a LONG LONG LONG time ago by my great grandmother! I've never seen these and this really came as a total shock to me! She wants me to quilt them!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!? I can't believe she trusts me enough to quilt these beauties! I don't know if I trust myself for that matter! I bet you can't wait to see them huh?????

This one is my favorite of the 2! I love a dresden quilt, and the colors in this one ARE TO DIE FOR

*be still my heart*

This one is also in the best shape of the 2 (you'll see what I mean in just a sec). My cousin told me it was pieced out of feed sack fabric. They both feel so....... brittle I guess would be the best word to describe it.

Here is the hexagon one. I love the muted pallet!


Here is one of the "troubled" spots. (sorry about the shadow of my arm!)

And here is the other one. This one is right in the middle of the quilt!!!

Annnnnd, one of the other reasons I wanted to share these with you is because I NEED YOUR HELP! I've never worked with anything like this before and I'm terrified I will ruin them. Do any of you know of a way that I can, I guess, stabilize? them before I back them? I'm scared putting them through a machine may damage them and I DO NOT want that to happen! Also, if you have any suggestions on how I can fix those "troubled" spots I would GREATLY GREATLY appreciate it! I think the spot in the last picture I showed you will be fairly easy to fix....but the whole in it????? How in the world can I fix that? (I don't have ANY sort of vintage fabrics or any that would be remotely CLOSE to the colors in it either!)

Thank you in advance for your help, I appreciate it more than you can imagine!!!!!

Linking up with Lee for her WIP Wednesday linky!!!

~Hope y'all are having a GREAT day!!!~


Josie McRazie said...

Never remove old fabric! Patch over top by hand. And do NOT put it in the washer! Honestly to do them justice I would say hand quilt them! The Dresden is AMAZING! I love 30s prints and feed sacks! Good luck can't wait to see what you do!

Carol Stearns said...

That is a great idea not to replace the old fabric but to sew a patch over it. I don't think you can ruin these, just add a fabric that is close in color to what's there. Or you can go completely off and do something wild, like a yellow daisy flower in the center of the middle. The other thing I would consider doing is to fill the bathtub up with warm water and a mild soap designed for washing quilts and just gently lay the quilt in the tub and swish gently just to get the brittleness out of it and the dirt of many years. Then drain the water and rinse and just let it sit there to squish out the water. Then I would carefully put it on a towel so as not to drop all over the house and lay it on a blanket or towel outside to dry. Not in full sun but do on a sunny day in the morning so you have all day to dry. Then you can spray starch with Best Press and start repairing seams, etc. I would rather have a clean quilt top than a dirty one. You don't know where it has been. Good luck and keep us posted.

Linda in Calif. said...

I don't have any suggestions for you - only stopped to say, Wow those are pretty!

hydeeannsews said...

they are real beauties. good luck with them. wish I could help!

jeifner said...

I third the notion of patching over with a similar fabric but leaving the old. The bathtub is great, I'd say lukewarm to cold water in case things might want to bleed. Squishing out water in the tub is good, no wringing. And for laying it out to dry-make sure there is something underneath all of it so you don't get grass or dirt stains. If you quilt on a machine, or by hand for that matter, use 100 percent cotton thread. Any poly mix to it and the thread will be too strong for the vintage fabrics and may end up damaging the quilts. Good luck, they are beautiful and it will be a wonderful legacy to contribute to them.

Gwendellyn said...

Our quilt guild's theme last month was vintage quilts, so we learned all about caring for them - I'll try to pass on some knowledge! The person above is correct, wash it in a bathtub super gently, basically just soak and don't agitate,with a very gentle soap (maybe do some research to see if there's one in particular that's good for vintage quilts or delicate items). The places where the fabric has worn (if it's not just a rip, tear, hole etc) is because of the chemicals in the color dyes and how they've aged - some of them become very harsh as they age and actually disintegrate the fabric. So if there's one color in the quilt that's consistently shredding apart, that's why!

I would say don't machine quilt it. Especially if it feels brittle to the touch. I can just imagine it ripping apart the delicate fibers and shredding it apart! Hand quilting would be much more gentle for how delicate it is. Even so, you probably don't want to add too much quilting to it.

That's all I can remember that's relevant right now, except to pass along that she should register her vintage quilts - there's a registry created for them like there is for artwork collections, so that way quilts can be tracked and maybe their histories saved! I don't have the specific info on hand, but you'd probably find it if you searched!

Peg Botham said...

Oh my gosh they're beautiful, I especially love the flour sack one. I would agree with the others to put them into a bath tub and gently swish. You'll be surprised at the colour of the water when you've done that even if they've been kept in a box.

Personally I would hand quilt with a running stitch but not over do it. A label on the back of both giving your name and your grandmothers plus the dates of both stitching would be wonderful.

Good luck with it am looking forward to seeing what you do.

Peg xx