Restoration progress

Thought it must be time for an update on the quilt restoration.  The quilt has a name.  I’m calling it “The Geronimo Quilt”.  The story of how it came to me is here.


The first thing I did when I started the restoration was look at the quilt’s problems.  They aren’t all solved yet.  But, most of the big ones are either corrected, or nearly so. 

There was the folded over corner.


Which turned out to be a repair of a rotten spot.


And, now looks like this.


You can see the new fabric along the bottom right.  Slightly different.  I dipped it in coffee to turn the bright white to the more subdued tone of the original fabric.  That forgave a lot of the issues with the two plaids being different sizes.

There was the mouse hole.


And, now it looks like this


and this


There was a tear in one of the pink squares.


You can see the patch fabric next to it.  That came from my stash.  Instead of patching over the tear, I laid the new fabric under the tear and sewed the raw edges to it, using a dark pink thread and long stitches that tied both the fabric edge, and an imaginary line about an eighth of an inch away to the new, more stable fabric.


The binding is sewn to the quilt front, all the way around and joined at the ends, all by hand.  Now, I’m just sewing it to the back by hand.  The old binding was just the brown backing fabric folded over the front and sewn down with the tiniest machine stitch you can imagine, making it dang near impossible to remove, but I did.  I cut the top thread off the bottom thread, so if I don’t wash the quilt again, I’m going to have to go back and pluck out all those tiny bits of thread left behind, in a curvy edge along the binding.


The maker didn’t quite spread her batting to the edge and folded part of the quilt into her binding to make it tight.  By releasing the binding and replacing it, I got an extra three quarters of an inch of quilt, all the way around.  But, I’ve been having to pretty consistently add wadding to the edge, under the binding, to get that tight effect again.

It’s not finished yet.  I’ve left quilting threads dangling here and there and I’ll come in and tie them off and replace the thread where quilting stitches had to be removed or knots came out or threads broke.  And, I found a little tear that I made when I was cutting the old binding off and I”m going to have to go back and patch that.  But, it won’t be a problem.  And, I have to decide what I’m going to do about that piece of red homespun that ran in the wash…if I do anything.  That might just need to be part of the charm of the quilt. 

While I was sewing on binding last night, I noticed these for the first time. 


I must not be the first person to repair this quilt.  Now, I get to wonder, not just about whoever made this wonderful quilt with its awful blocks, but who thought enough of it, before me, to make repairs to it.

I like feeling like part of a line of quilters who have touched and enjoyed this quilt, even if the blocks are all messed up.  I’m trying to find the block name in Barbara Brackman’s book, but no luck yet.  It seems like a variation of a carpenter’s wheel, where the center is a square instead of a pieced block. 

Okay, so that’s it for me.  I spent my quilting time this morning putting in the fourth side of leaves on the silk quilt.  Just a few inches to go.  As I’ve quilted the border and pulled the edges of the quilt inward so they lay flat, I’ve noticed that some of the straight lines I put in the border separator aren’t straight anymore.  That will need to be corrected.  I wish I was as patient in all my life as I am in my quilting.  Imagine what I could be if I could manage that.



Lakegaldonna said...

Oh my goodness you are patient!

Can you say DETERMINED? Wow.
You are very methodical too. Thank you for sharing your detailed steps on the repair.

Hope you are able to straighten the part on the silk quilt that has become not straight without too much trouble.

Hope your Thursday is awesome.

Kath said...

Ha! my husband says the same about me :-)
I love your sensitive repairs Lane, old quilts draw me, far more than new ones, as I love their slightly tatty appearance, knowing they have been loved and done good service. Also, a bit like me LOL

lw said...

I actually love the effect of the different sized gingham; it's in keeping with the rest of the quilt. I also love the effect of not selecting the "right" color intensities to show off the pattern of the blocks. This looks like a quilt made from necessity from what was at hand, and I think your repairs add to the charm. I'm glad this quilt found its way to you.

Rebecca Grace said...

Hi, Lane! I love it that you are restoring this quilt so faithfully to the original design! I had to giggle when you identified the "mouse hole," though. My oldest SON chewed holes like that in his bed quilt when he was younger. Maybe the original quilt owner had a rodent child, too. ;-) One of these days I'll have to get around to replacing the batting and chewed-through patches in that quilt, but the prospect of fixing an old quilt isn't nearly as exciting as starting a new one -- especially since that's the first quilt I ever made and I'm sure I'd be cringing a lot if I got up close and personal with it again 10 years later.

Becky said...

Great job! I couldn't even see the pink repair!! I love the connection you are making to the "chain of quilters" of this quilt. To me...it's what quilting is all about!

Love you and have a fabulous weekend!