Thursday, May 14, 2009

Repairing vintage quilts

***Not all quilts should be repaired or washed. You have to make the decision about it's care. If you want to preserve a piece of family history or have a treasured quilt...perhaps you shouldn't do anything with it. I would encourage you to contact the American Quilters Society, if you are inquiring about an American Quilts' value, find an apraiser in your area. If it means a lot to you, then get a professional apraisal. If you're not concerned about the monetary value and this is something you want to drape over a chair or bed and a hole or ratty binding is keeping the "quilt" from being on***

I found this wonderful vintage quilt at an antique shop and had to buy it because it is so "me". I have seen this before but can't remember the name of the pattern. It reminds me of Christmas candy! It has a hole large enough for my chubby grand-dog to put her head thru, what am I going to do with that girl? Dh said to just go ahead and lop off that whole row but I just cannot do it. I am going to try and repair the hole. I have some vintage flour and sugar sacks that have been waiting.

I cut the raggy pieces away from the quilt top right up to the seam. Now trim the batting. I Made some templates from a milk carton. I use milk cartons, plastic ones, because they have slight curves in lots of spots and it's easier for me to hold the curvy pieces to the quilt to trace the pieces needed.

I have a fun little stash of feedsack fabrics to go thru to find something that either matches or something I really like, make sure it's clean and pressed. Try to chose a fabric that isn't too bright or new looking if you are working on a vintage quilt. You want something that will blend in and not stand out. If your fabric choice appears to bright consider a lite tea bath. (oh Lordy, where did she come from....oh, must be PLQ...pushy little quilter, lol!

Now, examine the batting. It should be cotton. Hold the quilt up to the sunlight or light...does the batting look like it's shifting? Is the batting evenly you see any weedy looking things? Some of the older quilts were made from the cotton picked directly from the field and used in the quilt without the benefit of being in a like little package!

Go through your batting scraps (THIS is why you saved them, lol) and find a chunk of cotton batting that has the same thickness and weight of what you just cut out. Find a piece @ 1/2-1" larger then your hole piece.

Match your backing fabric with unbleached, bleached muslin. You may need to really look around for something that comes close to matching. I have used a vintage tea towel on one and have twice used shirting fabrics that were almost dead on with the back...go figure! If the backing or the front fabrics are to bright...dip in tea dye until it appears to be a little to dark. It should be the right shade once it dries.

I start with the back. I make a patch the same size with @ 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seam allowance inward, pin in place with the excess seam allowance facing inside. I pick a cream-tea thread, which ever matches the fabrics, and blindstitch in place.

Turn the quilt over, lightly stuff the batting inside. Don't be afraid to trim a little if you need to, to make the batting lie flat. Pin to the backing fabric from the outside, otherwise the pins will be be caught on the inside...yes, I have done that not once but twice, lol.

Now, press the seam allowance to the inside of the fabric patch from the front of the quilt, pin down, blind stitch to the patches surrounding the new patch. Remove pins from the front and back. Check your quilting lines from the original quiltmaker. This particular quilt was done in a hand Baptist fan. I use a hera marker and hand quilted the "missing" quilt lines.

All done, now all I have to do is re-bind the quilt.

Have you ever repaired a quilt? Did you find my info helpful? I have never done a tutorial before had fun with this one...sans pushy little quilter, lol!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to read this post. My daughter uses the very first quilt I ever made. I made the mistake of using some old, thin sheets for some of the pieces and now they need to be replaced.