Thursday, April 24, 2014

New life for a vintage top

71" x 81" before washing or modifying
This vintage quilt top has been mine for 8-10 years.   It was an E-bay purchase years ago when I was looking for inexpensive vintage quilt tops or sets of blocks.  I didn't save my paperwork, but I wouldn't have spent over $30 for it.  I'm taking stock of my various projects that have been ignored and will decide where to put my time.  I'm not sure what I'll do with tops and sets of blocks that I decide are not worth my time.  Maybe back to E-bay. 

I've pulled this one out of its tissue paper and cardboard box and will be giving it a new life.  I washed and dried it this morning, and it appears to be in fine shape.  There is some stretching of bias edges here and there, but each of the 56 blocks is very close to being a 9-1/4" square. 

This is a probably a 50 to 60-year-old top.  I'm not a fabric dating expert, but I have reference books, and I remember the sage statement -- "A quilt is no older than its newest fabric."  Many of the print fabrics appear to be from the 1930s and 1940s.  It's totally machine stitched and the colors are bright.  I want to add a border to make it a bit larger and also to calm down those somewhat wavy edges.

According to Barbara Brackman's identification, the block appears to be either #1140c, "Pieced Star," or #2146 which has 5 star names.

dark thread;  poor tension -- needs some first aid
I'll be checking all the seams carefully.   The main problem I see right now is that the quilter used dark thread for most seams, and after washing and drying the top, it's obvious that her tension was not very good in several spots.  I'll take my time with repairs and resewing.  I'm confident that this will be a sweet quilt when it's done. 
38 x 49" top ready for quilting

While looking for forgotten projects, I also found a 30-year-old preprinted panel with a few squares gone.  This also now has a new life.  It didn't take long, and it's ready to be quilted.  I cut apart the 6" printed squares, found coordinating blue, green, and peach fabrics in my stash, and my daughter helped me sew the rows together.  This will be a quick and pretty lap quilt to take to guild next week.  It will be added to our group of share quilts for nursing homes. 


Julia said...

I love seeing and reading about old quilts Vivian.
If only they could talk, to know their story would be wonderful.
Julia ♥

AnnieO said...

I've never bought anything on eBay but obviously there are treasures to be had! How did you wash this top?
Love the bright panel print. How nice it has a new life with your additions!

Rebecca in AK said...

I have never looked on ebay for quilt tops, I think maybe I should! I have purchased fabric there. I hope there is not too much 'un-sewing' to do. Look forward to seeing it with a border. I think your panel quilt top turned out lovely! Great fabric choices!

Kyle said...

I love the thought of bringing new life to an older quilt top. Glad you are taking the time to save it. Your printed blocks quilt will be special for someone. Keep us posted on the restoration.

Janet O. said...

What a great old scrappy top!
And I think you have created a very pretty quilt from the preprinted panel. Looks like it was meant to be! : )

Shirley said...

Well done Vivian. You have saved the day for this old quilt and given new life to both.

Barb said...

beautiful vintage quilt. I'm glad it will be saved and finished. It is worth it on this one for sure.

Quilt Hollow said...

Love the preprinted and now pieced too. Also your vintage stars is delightful even with the work ahead of you. Isn't it amazing the treasures we can find? It makes me wonder who it may have belonged to, what happened to them etc. they all tell a story.

Karen said...

The quilt will be a treasure. I love the pattern. Glad your giving it new life.

Barb said...

Sometimes those vintage quilts just need a little tender loving the panel.

Lori said...

The vintage quilt is nice and I'm glad you'll be fixin it up!


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