Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I need a little help

When I lived in Seattle, my significant other was the recipient of several boxes from his great aunt's estate.  By the time I moved in most everyone in the family had picked through things but there were a couple of items that caught my eye.  One was this quilt top.

I was told by a couple of his family members that it was ugly and no one wanted it.  Well, it isn't gorgeous but it was made by his grandmother.  That means something and I know that he was very close to his grandmother.  Long story short, I took it.  I knew that at some point I would find a way to have it made into a quilt.

I have no idea what the fabrics are in the top.  They look a bit like rayon and since my assumption is that it was made from scraps from the 40's, that is probably a good guess.  The top is had stitched onto foundation fabric of muslin and feed sacks.

I know that I am going to have to do some repairs to the blocks.  It looks like a couple of blocks are coming apart.

Obviously, it is a scrap quilt and maybe not the prettiest thing but, as I said before, someone near and dear to him made it.

Here's my plan.  Secure the blocks, trim the raggedy edges and then find a nice reproduction feed sack fabric for the backing.  I will use cotton batting.  Now the plan gets a little shaky.  I do not have the time or skill to hand quilt this.  If it were a beautiful top, I would do it but this is borderline utilitarian so I don't feel badly about putting it on the long arm.  I have no idea what design to quilt.  Would a meander look goofy?  Should I just straight line it?

I have to quilt it this upcoming Saturday and then ask my sister if I can put it into her front loader washing machine.  I know that will be gentle enough to clean it (the fabric is dirty in places) without beating the heck out of it.  I have this deadline because I have to get it in the mail for his birthday which is on the 3rd of October.  It is one of those significant birthdays (60!) and I think this will be a great gift.

So, tell me your thoughts about my plan and any suggestions about the quilting.  I need a little help from my friends!


  1. I also think some kind of straight line quilting would look best..and show it off ! Just my thought.

  2. I'm thinking washing it in the bathtub might be safer............I know it will be beautiful when you are finished with it.

  3. I think something straight or SITD might be best - but then again an all over would reinforce it and take the strain off those seams.

    I don't think a bathtub wash is a good idea - then you are lifting the whole thing to rinse it and it will put more strain on than a washer on gentle I think....

  4. I'd go stitch in the ditch or as close to the original quilting as possible. You want it to be similar to the way he remembers it just with an update on that stitching.

    That'll give it another 30 years of use.

    What a lovely thing to do.

  5. I have no clue...good luck on the quilting and the washing. It is a beautiful quilt...

  6. I'm going to go against what everyone else suggested. I would do a panto on it - something simple. I think if you try and stitch in the ditch, it's just going to highlight the not so perfect seams. Even if you do some type of grid or crosshatching, if it isn't perfectly square, the quilting would make it look worse.

    Just my opinion...


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