Friday, April 12, 2013

Quilt Restoration

I have been learning about quilt restoration. Mandy asked me if I could "save" 4 old family quilts that she had. Actually there were 5 but we decided right up front that one of them was beyond restoration. She may use it for stuffed animals or some other memorabilia. The other 4 I brought home and have sat on for almost a year. I decided after Christmas that one of my goals for the year is to finish stuff. I don't normally make such lofty commitments but having these 4 quilts plus another for other people as well as a host of my own projects needing finishing spurred me on.
I tackled the hexagon quilt first, I suppose because I like hexagons. I wish I had taken before and after pictures so you could see the immensity of the task. One whole corner was torn away. My solution was to remove 5 blocks from one end and use those blocks to fill in the corner. This also had the effect of making the quilt more symetrical. I  made white and yellow hexagons to fill in the paths in some of the flowers.  I also replaced an additional dozen whole or part flowers where they were too frayed to be usable. Then I replaced some pieces of the backing that needed filling in and quilted the areas where I had added new pieces.

Last but not least I rebound the quilt in a pale green. Throughout the quilt I tried to use reproduction fabrics to maintain the flavor of the quilt. With Mandy's permission I trimmed all the sides so I had some straight areas rather than zig zagging the binding around each hexagon as in the original quilt. There were still plenty of points and corners! 

I was very pleased with the finished quilt. While it is still somewhat frail it is still a quilt that can be used with care and enjoyed for its beauty and memories. Finishing this quilt spurred me on to tackle the next one.
In researching the block a bit I was pleased to find it is called "Flying X".  It is a Kansas City Star newspaper pattern. This is fitting because the maker, Mandy's great aunt or grandmother is from the Kansas City area.

This quilt originally was comprised of 20 blocks width 4-5" sashing between them. Some of the blocks were badly faded or had damaged spots so I chose the best 12. The fabric used for the sashing was of much inferior quality and had deteriorated beyond the stage of saving. I cut out all the blocks with a 1/2"seam allowance all around and added 1" sashing front and back using a quilt-as-you-go style.

The original sashing was white but I replaced it with a reproduction blue fabric which gives a bit more life to the blocks. It is bound with the same color.

This makes a charming little quilt that with gentle care can be used and enjoyed.

My next 2 quilts to restore are a 6 point diamond quilt and a bow tie but I'm going to take a break and work on a couple other projects first.

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