As my mother-in-law continues to downsize, she is contributing to some sizeable up-sizing of our own household, and the treasures she is passing on to me came from a generation even further back, my husband’s paternal grandparents from Ohio. Here they are, Hazel and William, about 1950.
As far as I know, Hazel did not make any quilts herself. And all of these have such different styles, that I wonder if she bought them around the community, or if they could have been gifts.
In all of them, the batting is hand-carded cotton which has shifted, so they are all very lumpy. And they are all extremely tattered.
First up, we have this all wool Sixteen-Patch, which is tied, not quilted. I think I could take it apart and put it back together with new batting.
Next we have a beautiful faded Feathered Star. One of these stars was made from silk fabric and it has totally disintegrated. I am going to have to ponder a long time before I try to conserve this one.
The next one delights my improvisational soul. A few of the sections are still fine, and I think I may actually cut this one up, and turn those good sections into pillows.
It is machine-pieced, but hand quilted.
And here is my favorite, a Maltese Cross. This one has some sizeable holes, all the way through, but I love it so much, I think I will just stabilize the torn edges, lightly tack the whole thing to a new backing, and rebind. But I will ponder for a while first.
Even if I can’t restore these quilts, they give me a lot of design ideas just the way they are!
They are lovely, but gosh they haven’t worn well. Maybe they were used a lot.
I just learned that they used to go camping all summer, all over the West and Mexico. So maybe they brought these along. I also believe it’s possible they were used to cover more valuable pieces of furniture, when things were moved from Ohio to Texas.
These are fantastic
I LOVE all the old fabric. Some reminiscent of my Grandmothers quilts.
It would be so much fun to compare fabrics in all of our old quilts — “Wow, my grandmother had those green bunnies too!” 🙂
Goodness what a selection and they certainly look well used though not perhaps cherished as you might if you’d made it yourself. It will be good if you can salvage some or parts of them.
I wish I knew their stories; if they accompanied my grandparents-in-law on their camping journeys, that would explain their condition. I got a bunch of old family photos too so I am hoping they show up in the background of one or two!
The Maltese Cross and the wool ones are my favorites. I love the use of the really bright yarn to tie the wool one. Then there’s the one Maltese Cross block that has one make-do green piece where the rest are yellow.
I always love those little make-do pieces too, I think they give a quilt a spark of life!
Really fun to see these old quilts. I have a one or two like that, but you got a whole bunch of them all at once. Good luck in the restoration.
Thank you, I am looking forward to bringing them back from captivity in the old pine box where we found them! 🙂
I’ve seen nice pillows made from the better-preserved parts of antique quilts. Even better if you can put a layer of fine net over it to help protect it. Of course, making a pillow destroys the quilt. I especially like the Maltese cross one!
I have never cut up a quilt before, even ones I bought labeled as “cutter quilts.” But these are really in bad shape. I like that fine net idea, I think that will help stabilize the Maltese Cross one!
Wow, thanks for sharing.
The Maltese Cross is very pretty. What a shame it’s so badly damaged. I’m not sure how I’d react to having pieces like these. Both partly privileged and a bit burdened, too.
Yes, I am glad to have gotten them. In a way the damage takes away any pressure to treat them “right,” I can’t really ruin them any more than they have been!
Really true! You are blessed. 🙂
It is always worth saving great craftsmanship and these are absolutely amazing. Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day and clicking Like on my No Sew Post. Be Blessed, Mtetar
You are welcome. I enjoy the posts you do about your crafts and ideas!
Thank you so much for such uplifting comment. You as well also and always educate with your post on quilting, textiles, etc. Thank you for sharing, Mtetar
Since I’ve never restored an antique quilt, I’m not sure my ideas are worth a second thought…On the feathered star, possibly make replacement stars out of period fabric, maybe fuse or not, to top and hand stitch around edges, being careful not to go through to backing fabric. If you decide to make pillows out of the string quilt, those extra blocks add some lace, etc., and use for doilies, etc. A friend had similar problems with an antique quilt, she got some comparable fabric and recreated those bad areas. Such a shame the quilts are so damaged.
Yes, I really think they just used them to pad wooden furniture that they brought back!
I don’t think I will try to restore these. I have never seen such lumpy batting, it’s like they were machine washed and dried several times. It does not feel good. I have already taken apart the woolen quilt, and saved the top and the backing, but I released the brown cotton batting back into the wild, into my compost heap. 🙂
I like your idea of edging the quilt blocks with lace and using for a purpose like doilies!
I bet you are right in the fact it appears they were washed. What a shame if that happened but who knows. I agree about not restoring as it probably would take too much time and effort. Also there’s a great possibility as you attempted to restore, the quilts begin to fall apart.
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