We interrupt our previously scheduled quilting to restore

A few months ago, I made a commitment.  And, then, as I do sometimes, because I had time, I put it off, and then forgot about it. 

Have I reminded you lately how much Sydney is like me?  It’s like we’re genetically related.

Anyway, I committed to restoring a quilt in my collection and lending it to the guild for the show this year.


It’s a quilt with no historical significance.  It started it’s current life in an antique store in Geronimo, TX, where I saw it and fell in love with the quilters use of the black/white plaid and the double pink.  It’s quilted in a huge baptist fan, and because it’s the old fashioned, heavy, packed cotton batting, that quilting really shows up.  The blocks are a mess.  The colors aren’t laid out to fully show the pattern. 


But, I fell in love with the artful combination of masculine and feminine; plaid and pink.  It had some problems, so I left it there.  But, I didn’t forget about it and the next time we were in that store, I hunted it down, and that time, it came home with us. 

This was one of the problems…I had no idea what I’d find under that tight little roll of backing fabric.  Can you see how the backing was rolled over and covers the border?  That’s a previous repair, I think…or maybe a cutting mistake?.


And, there was a mouse hole.  I don’t know if a mouse actually made the hole, but apparently, that’s the common term for little, thumb sized holes in a quilt. 


There were two completely missing diamonds, revealing the batting underneath and a very small tear in one of the pink squares.  Oh, and the binding was shot.  Dry rot along the fold.

I’ll show more about the repairs, which are proceeding at lightening pace, as I go.  For now, I just needed to know what I was dealing with; how much repair was going to be required. 

It’s not more than I can conveniently do.  I’ve already done a bunch of it, like replacing the missing fabric diamonds on the front, by appliqueing new fabric in.  That let me wash the quilt, because the dust was killing me.  And, I opened the old foldover binding and trimmed the quilt edges with a rotary cutter and ruler.  It won’t ever be square, but I was able to give it some straighter edges.  A bit of the excess backing I cut off got turned into a patch for the back of the mouse hole.  A new binding has been prepped.  I tried one store for anything close to that black and white plaid.  No luck.  This afternoon, I’ll try another.  Just need a little bit.  But, since the black and white plaid was one of the things I really loved about the quilt, I think it’s important to get as close as I can to a match.  I’ve found some gingham that’s got quarter inch stripes, and it’s close.  But, the plaid borders have a three eighths inch stripe and if I can find that in maybe a homespun, that would be perfect!

Wish me luck.  One piece of red fabric bled when I washed it.  It’s doubtful I would have missed that before.  That would indicate that maybe it was the first time the quilt had ever been washed. I’ll pull that red out and replace with something more appropriate, and then I can wash it again, because it’s still dusty. 

Wow, sounds like so much more work when I write it down that way.  Like I said, it’s going really fast, even if it is difficult, swear-inducing, name calling work.  But, the hard part should be over now.  From here on in, it’s just putting things back together…I hope.

Have a great Friday.  Lane


Kath said...

I enjoyed the story of how you got this quilt and how you are working on it.

lw said...

I've never tried to restore a quilt that old. It looks like 1920s or 30s? And the idea of washing one would scare the daylights out of me.

I love that they didn't follow the pattern, and I love the black and white check. It's really hard to find online; the gingham is nearly all poly cotton instead of just cotton:


Anonymous said...

I've got 3 black and white cotton plaids but do not know what size you need. One is a gingham and looks more like a color match for yours3306, one has more black than white and one is tan and black(or navy?). These are all from clothing purchased at thrift stores.I could send you some of each but do not have your address. Probably none will be an exact match but that might add to the "used" look.

Anonymous said...

i'm practicing here. Hopefully, you get this message.
Lane--your blogs are exhausting. I love reading about your progress, but I feel like I am simply taking a leisure ride through life after reading what you've pulled off in your past 24 hours.

Good day, sir.