A wonderful quilt came into the studio two weeks ago. The client whom I have known for many years, was dropping of this wonderful vintage quilt. She completed it for her soon to be 89 year old grandmother. The blocks where made for said grandmother 55 years ago by a friend !!! From the age of the fabric & style guessing it was made from late 40’s early 50’s clothing. The blocks where hand stitched with small fine stitches. The workmanship of said blocks is wonderful ! Now jumping ahead… Those wonderful blocks where never put into a quilt. Lori (the granddaughter) was asked if she would finish the quilt . The family plans to give it to her on her 86th birthday.
Into my hands it lands. First things first, the fabric is aged it needs some stability. One of my favorite products is Shape-flex by Pellon it is a cotton woven fusible . Yes this is adding to the expense of the quilt. These blocks you could almost see threw by adding said product now these blocks have added life. Did this to all the blocks.
Once this was done the quilting process could start. Ditched all the applique and blocks. Added a pretty corner flower to echo the flowers in the fabrics. Feathers in the border fabric as the borders where a whooping 10 inches. Did clouds in the background and bricks . The sashing did swirls and mirror imaged them. There are no computers it’s just me moving the machine. The needle is my pen. Once the quilt was finished them took it off the machine and now dealing with stains. Their are not many stains but over time those blocks did get handled and well not sure what each stain is . So out comes my favorite spot remover, I will also make my special restoration spray and we will handle each stain until they are gone.
Funny how skills from ones past come in handy. Spent a couple of years restoring train cars for the Cranbrook Railway museum & went to school to learn Restoration. Also worked for a dry cleaner and dealing with stains is coming in handy. If they don’t come out then will blend fabric paints to cover them up. We will bring it back to it’s full glory. So at the end of the day I hope I have done these women proud and they love the quilt as much as I have working on it. Restoring such a gem is a honor. I know it’s just a quilt but it has a story , it starts with the first woman that did the blocks, the next who kept them safe, the daughter that gave them to her daughter to give to the grandmother. This in my eyes is the true treasure , it’s love expressed with fabric. It’s a family heirloom or here’s hoping it becomes their Heirloom.
Check out our Facebook page for the finished quilt pictures. Client loved the quilting and they still have 8 blocks to make a lap size one.