January 29, 2019

Two Family Quilts

Here are two heirloom quilts that came to me in need of some TLC.


At some point, someone affixed typed labels that identify the quiltmakers and the quilts' histories.  This is what's called "provenance" in the antiques biz, and is always a good thing!

Quilt #1

This is a six-block quilt, with relatively large blocks and wide sashing.  The sashing is made of pink lozenges with white triangles and white cornerstones which together create stars.  There's a nice interplay between the large stars and the delicate embroidery. 

Mostly the quilt needed some stitching to support torn and weak areas, plus a couple of patches on the back.  Where possible, I insert a new piece of fabric into open tears, so that the conservation stitches have a solid base to grab onto.  The fabric is generally weak over the whole quilt, so it is going to need careful handling from here on out.


The owner and I discussed whether or not to have me replace quilting.  We decided against it, as there is very little batting in the quilt, and it is not going to be used.

Quilt #2

I'm not sure of the name of this block.  It's very similar to one called Single Wedding Ring, but the corner triangles have a different color orientation. 

The cable stitching around the border was made to fit the quilt this way:  Two corners have the gentle curve you see above.  And the two opposite corners are shaped to fit the last ovals.

This quilt needed mending along one edge where there were some pretty large rips.  Except for this edge, the quilt fabric is strong and in good shape.  The owner decided to have as little new fabric added as possible, since she is most interested in maintaining her ancestors' work rather than restoring and using these quilts.

I added a strip of new fabric across the back to give the mending better support.  I cut the outer edge of the patch to match the scallops and turned and appliqued both edges.  Then on the front, as I did with the pink and white quilt, I added new fabric to fill slits and holes and stitched across the tears.  You can see that sometimes I use a herringbone stitch and sometimes a couching stitch, depending on the shape and size of the area I'm mending.

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