January 11, 2016

A 9-Patch Quilt with Many Stories

Some quilts are repositories of stories, memories, and love.  This is one such quilt.  It was made c. 1950 by the owner's mother.  She can relate the stories of all the fabrics in it.

The quilt is still used by its owner and her husband as a lap quilt on the couch.  The original binding was tattered, there was a hole, and and some of the fabrics were starting to wear.  Her husband found my website, and sent the quilt to me for a fix-up.  A loving gift indeed!

Wherever possible, because these fabrics all are old friends, I slipped a bit of new fabric under the tears and stitched to support the weak vintage fabric.  In a few places, the fabric was so far gone that I did patch and re-quilt.  But I made sure that I never covered up all of any particular fabric!  These photos show a block where I used both approaches.

The brown print upper right and the stripe mid-right are my additions, both vintage fabrics.

This is a close-up of some of the stitching on tears in the purple in the same block.  You can see little bits of the solid purple I inserted.

The most fun for me is that this quilt furthers my new-found love of mid-century conversation prints.

I find this one especially intriguing.  It looks to me like a glass conservatory with a  (very!) over-sized bird on the roof.  Or maybe a bird sitting on its cage?  Or maybe a fancy cake with a bird centerpiece?  So whimsical!  There are flying birds, too.

And finally, here are a few examples of other period prints in the quilt.

Quilts can have many kinds of value.  This is a quilt whose value is the personal meaning and history attached to it.  And using it every winter obviously provides loads of joy and coziness for this great couple. 


  1. nice : ) love it!
    Im working on an old tattered quilt. I want to learn to patch it, I love your idea. Very shabby chic!

    1. Thanks, Deborah! Good luck with your quilt repair. It's very gratifying to give an old quilt a longer life. :-)