Friday, April 14, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Vintage Restored!

Hi, all!

Wow, that week went fast - - - and here it is, Friday again!  And you know what that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!!!  Let's get started!!

As you read this, I'm headed down south for a lovely week at the beach with my husband - sunshine, sand, and nothing "required" to do!  Of course I'm taking my sewing machine (because a day without sewing is like a day without sunshine!) but spending a lot of time with my toes in the sand will be the number one order of the day.  So I'm DEFINITELY whooping it up!!

But I also had a finish this week.....

This lovely old vintage quilt was in terrible shape when it came into my hands!  It was so bad I didn't dare hang it up to take a picture, as some of the blocks were gaping open, with dangling wadding leaking out.  So trust me when I say it really needed help! But it's such a lovely example, it would have been a shame to junk it.  The gentleman who asked me to repair it said that it had been made by his mother sometime around the turn of the (20th) century.  It's unusual to see such a well-planned quilt of that age - there is some scrappiness to this quilt, but all the background pieces are the same two fabrics, which I don't see too often in really old quilts.

You can see in this picture the state of the underlying block.  I dug pieces out of my stash that would work with the age and coloring of the quilt and hand-stitched patches directly over the badly damaged spots.

Meet my new best friend!  I've had a tailor's ham for many years now, but it hasn't gotten much use until now.  It was very useful for giving me something to pin my patches onto as I repaired the damaged blocks, since most of them were towards the center of the quilt, making them difficult to reach with my hand underneath.  The square directly above the tailor's ham is one I repaired.

Many of the light background pieces, and a few of the bow tie blocks, were showing wear - tiny holes or worn spots that weren't really bad enough to replace, but would only get worse with time.  Those I fixed with an overlay technique, using bridal illusion (the fine netting they use for wedding veils) and stitching it down by machine in the ditch of the patchwork.  Here you can see it pinned to the patch...

After stitching all around the block, I trimmed the excess netting away using my Kai curved blade scissors.  I love those scissors - sharp as can be, and the curve helped prevent cutting the quilt by mistake!

And here's the finished repair.  The bridal illusion mostly fades into the background, but it will protect the patchwork piece from further wear and tear.  When you have many matching pieces in a quilt that need minor repair and it would be difficult to match it for replacement, this is a great way to protect the pieces.  I probably wouldn't recommend washing this quilt (I wouldn't have recommended it before the repair either) but for display purposes, these repairs will protect the quilt and allow it to be handled safely!

So that's what I'm happy dancing about this week!  Can I get a whoop whoop??


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance with you -
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!!




  1. Wow, you really rescued a treasure! Thanks for sharing the details about how you worked on the quilt, it's really neat!

  2. What a beautiful job you did in repairing such a treasure! Loved seeing the details.

  3. You are brave. Taking someone else's heirloom into your care and saving it is heroic. I have a quilt that my mother made that is had sewn and hand quilted. I need to do some repair on it. It's not that old. My son burned a hole in it. I think's it's on the back and it's a solid white back. There are places that the seams are weak. She was failing at the time she made it.

  4. Wow, such a special project...I'm impressed! You did a great job with it!

  5. As a fellow quilt repair geek, I have to commend your effort with this quilt! I, too, have had some pretty ratty quilts to fix and appreciate what it takes to give them new life. Have fun at the beach!

  6. Great save! Glad you gave new life to this vintage quilt.

  7. You must have nerves of steel working to repair that vintage quilt...Yay YOU! Enjoy your time at the beach :-D

  8. I am so impressed with your work on this! I learned a lot from reading your post. How good of you to repair it for him.

  9. You did an amazing job on that repair! Have fun at the beach.

  10. Whoop Whoop! Thanks for sharing the how to repair a quilt. I have a summer double wedding ring that I want repaired. My grandma made it for my Mom and through all these years different fabrics have worn out. It's too beautiful to trash just because of that. I did buy some of the 30s orange, but just haven't gotten to it.

  11. What a fantastic job you did in repairing that gorgeous quilt! I hope you have great weather and enjoy the beach.

  12. I'm so glad I read this post. I've repaired a few old quilts but never thought of using bridal illusion. It's a great idea for an old quilt that needs lots of TLC. Thanks for the lesson on repairs.

  13. how wonderful to have repaired the quilt the man must be so delighted over 100 years old wonder if what we are making now will last as long. Have a lovely holiday

  14. Neat tip to use bridal illusion! I didn't know it was called that...we call it "no seeum screening" and use it on the boat. So this quilt now has the added benefit of keeping the bugs out! :)

  15. Whoop whoop! That's yeoman's work! I'd probably never undertake to fix sn old quilt, but I know some of them mean a lot to the people who have them. I have a couple of friends in Atlanta who do work like that, and if you really do it well, it's the kind of thing that takes forever and which isn't well appreciated or paid! 😬 I hope you charge what you're worth!

  16. Nice work! And thanks so much for sharing this, because I have a 1930s quilt of Scott's great-grandmother's that can use a couple spots of repair like this.

  17. I had a friend give me one of his mother old quilts she made and he got it when he was really little well he wants me to fix it and I’m not sure where to start I have only made 1 quilt in my entire life and he don’t care how it’s fixed he just wants it to be good enough to be passed down to his son and so on but I would pot a picture but I can’t and it’s in really really bad shape

  18. Brittany, I'm replying here because you are a no-reply blogger. Repairing quilts is fairly skilled work, mainly because the largest part of it is determining if the quilt is in good enough condition to be saved at all. You might check at your local quilt shop and see if there is an experienced quilter there who can look at it with you and help you decide. If you don't feel confident enough to repair it yourself, ask at your local quilt shop if there's anyone they know of who does repair work. Good luck, and if you want to talk more about this, email me at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com.


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