Tattered Treasures

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.

My husband’s grandparents, Hazel and William.

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.

Wool Sixteen-patch.

Wool block.

Wool backing, and brown cotton batting.

The backing is brought around to the front and decorated with these giant stitches.

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.

Feathered Star quilt.

This block has kept most of its color and shows some contrast.

The back of the star quilt is a striped green fabric, quilted in Baptist Fans.

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.

String quilt.

As a weaver, I love the blue stripe of honeycomb fabric on top right.

Another great string block.

The back of the string quilt.

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.

Maltese Cross.

Some favorite blocks. I love the pink feathered fabric with the green and red paisley!

The Maltese Cross back is a black floral fabric, and the quilting stitches are large and blue.

Even if I can’t restore these quilts, they give me a lot of design ideas just the way they are!