October 27, 2021

Three Quilts, Three Generations - The Repairs

The family story of these three quilts is at Three Quilts, Three Generations - The Story.  Here, I will descirbe the repairs that I made to them.

The two crazy quilts were made primarily of wool and flannel fabrics.  One of the crazy quilts has an embroidered date and name, as well as more and more varied embroidered details.  The crazy quilts have some fabrics in common, so it's likely that they were both made around the same time.  The log cabin is cotton and significantly older. 

The repair techniques chosen for each quilt were chosen according to the kinds of damage, the age, available fabrics, and the owner's preferences.  We had quite a few long discussions!

1. Crazy quilt with date and dedication

The back of this quilt - a lightweight, plaid wool - was in very bad condition. 

Since I doubted I could find a similar backing fabric, I looked for inspiration in the fabrics on the quilt top.  The top includes many flannels, so I searched for some flannel options.  The owner chose the lighter grey, in a grey-on-grey herringbone pattern.    


The damage to the fabrics on the top was mostly small holes that I mended with fabric underlays and couching stitches.

There were just a few small pieces that required full patching.

2. Crazy quilt 

There was significantly more damage on the top of this quilt, including pieces of the same disintegrating wool that backed the fancier quilt.  I did quite a bit more patching on this one.  There were fully damaged pieces and also some with so many small holes that I patched them as well.  

This photo shows a patch to one of the pieces of fabric that was also used on the embroidered quilt.


Here, on the right, is the red plaid flannel I used to patch the plaid on the left.

This quilt is backed with a heavy wool blanket.  There were some previous repairs.  

I repaired more damage, with underlays and running stitches.

3. Log Cabin quilt

The fabrics on this quilt date from the 1850s to 70s.  Some of the solid browns were damaged, likely due to the dyes used in that era.  After hearing the age of the quilt, the owner opted for conservation with crepeline silk to protect the area rather than fabric restoration patches.  The first photo shows two crepeline patches on the large, very dark brown solid logs.

This photo shows a crepeline patch on one dark brown log in the righthand block.  You can see the damaged fabric underneath.

See Three Quilts, Three Generations - The Story for more photos of the fabrics in the quilts, plus stories and photos of the quiltmakers.  

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