Friday, June 15, 2012

Thoughts on Quilt Care & Repair, Restore or Reuse?

This is a large quilt. It covers a queen bed and has a full row plus drape on each side and one row is tucked in at the foot. I think this is the largest quilt they made.
 What a glorious morning we have here. Of course, at 6 am my dogs are ready to walk and sniff our countryside. Heavy dew fall this morning required careful stepping on the hills.  These walks provide time for me to think about all sorts of things, today it was my quilt collection. These reflections are partly because I am a little stalled in my quilting right now. So for inspiration (seems like I am always searching for the illusive spark lately) I brought out this vintage piece. Another quilt made by husbands Grandmother and Aunt, it was pieced and quilted sometime in the early 60's I believe. It still has all the pencil marks used to mark quilting lines. It has never been washed.

16 patch
the borders and sashing strips are a type of polished cotton
pencil marks, there to stay

That took the thought process to all those quilts in antique shops, in yard sales etc. Many sellers have no idea how much work and talent are required to create these masterpieces. No, not all are perfect. Yes, many are made from re-used fabrics. There are no famous names attached. To overhear comments at garage sales that this one will be cut up for this or that actually requires me to intrude and voice opinions. (I try to be helpful, informative and certainly not rude. )  Of course, some are beyond repair and their useful parts should be repurposed.

Ann Wasserman is an expert in quilt care and restoration. Her website provides answers to all of us to make/collect quilts.  This page gives you guidelines that may help in your decision about that "vintage" quilt you have been holding on to. Recent magazine articles in home and garden periodicals tout the advantages of cutting up old quilts to make decorator pillows. While this is an option for a terribly worn or damaged piece, there are times to reconsider the current decorating trend to preserve history.

Ann's Blog

*tip, keep scraps of the fabrics used in making your quilt in a ziplock bag and give to the owner or keep them yourself for repairs.

Gratuity Moment: persons who work very hard to guide us in decisions like this and share their expertise willingly.


Ann said...

Thanks very much for mentioning my website and my blog in Sewtopia! I like being able to get the word out that all quilts, even utility quilts, preserve a bit of our history. This is especially true of family quilts where the maker's name and story are known. I always recommend that people with family quilts write down all the history they know - the maker's name, where she was living at the time she made the quilt, what her life was like, how the quilt came to you. You can keep the info with your other important papers, maybe even with a photo attached. This makes the quilt much more special as a family heirloom!

Corrine said...

You are more than welcome, Ann. So many collectors struggle with this decision. Your information certainly helps us sort out the facts and feelings. Your recommendations for recording quilt history is also very timely. Our quilt guild has sponsored several events to assist with the process. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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