Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Oldie But a Goodie

This is a 1930-1940 vintage quilt top that I purchased from eBay eight to ten years ago. It consisted only of the field of bowties - no blue inner border and no white final border. It was filthy, filthy, filthy. No stains, just 70 years of grime. I soaked it in the laundry tub with Orvis and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed until the water ran clean.

The top is entirely hand pieced. The fabrics were in very good condition with one exception. There was one patch that was badly shredded. I appliqued a patch of similar fabric over it. I had read an article once about repairing old quilts and the advice was to do nothing irreversible if at all possible. Therefore, I opted to cover over the torn spot rather than remove the patch entirely and replace it with another. I added the small blue inner border using a 30s print from my stash.A final border of plain white bleached muslin finished the top. Then it languished in the time out box for years. It seemed to need hand quilting and my skills were not up to the task, never mind the time involved. Then a new friend joined our small group of quilting ladies. She said her 89 year old mother would hand quilt it for me. She lives in a senior apartment and finished the top in record time. It is beautifully and consistently quilted - a testament to a life time of practice. A final blue binding and label and this is one done. I will gift it to my 91 year old mother for Mother's Day after showing it off at guild on Friday evening.

Here are a couple of closeups of the fun old fabrics and Nellie's lovely hand quilting.


  1. what a story this quilt would tell if only it could talk, lovely reading about it and how good to have it quilted, your Mum is going to be thrilled to have it

  2. What a lovely journey that quilt has made so far, and it's journey is not over yet! Your vision, in restoring and finishing the quilt, has given this quilt a whole new life. Don't you wonder where it will be 100 years from now?

    1. Yes, and where it's been the last 60 years!

  3. What a wonderful Mother's day gift. It's finished up beautifully and I can see what drew you to it originally.