After Christmas, my little brother gave me his whole cloth baby quilt our grandmother made for him over 40 years ago with the mission to “save it.”
The back was transparent and dry rotted. Many of the original hand ties were missing. The edges were frayed and poking out. The quilt was oddly lumpy.
I really struggled with where to start. I considered patching it, but then quickly realized it was too damaged to just be patched. It’s a quilt full of love and meaning for my brother and I wanted to make sure I did this right.
I shared the “before” quilt on Talk to Me Tuesday earlier this week and then I just dove in. I had to fix this quilt and it wasn’t getting done sitting on the table in my sewing room!
In the end, I took the whole thing apart, carefully picking out every stitch. The inside was layers of old sheets and flour sacking!
One of the layers was completely shredded and had turned into fluff, which created the random lumps. I sprinted the vintage fluff outside for birds to use in their nests.
To complete my mission to save this quilt, I hand washed the original fabric top and added a super lightweight fusible to the back for stability and to help close some of the tiny holes created by the ties.
I kept the sheet that was inside for the weight but replaced the shredded flour sacking with my favorite Hobb’s 80/20 batting. I carefully basted the top, batting, and old sheet and then serged the edges together.
Then I added a new soft flannel back, rebasting and hand tying to keep it as close to the original configuration as possible.
The back is turned to the front and stitched. The finish is as close to the same as I could make it.
I shared a photo with my brother and he’s a happy camper. It’s already in the mail back to him.
This was a very emotional project and I felt like I was communing with our grandmother while I worked on the quilt. I did record a bit for TTMT before shipping this guy off, so look for that next Tuesday.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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Jennifer you are the greatest! You should be teaching at Honey Bee and I would be your first student. Miss seeing you.
Shelly Sent from my iPhone
You’re very sweet, Shelly! I used to teach at Honey Bee (and other places!) but I’m retired from teaching. With my feet problems, I find it easier to work at home so I can sit and elevate whenever I need. ♥
Great job, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Suzanne!
Jennifer that is such a great thing; saving your brother’s treasured quilt and preserving your beloved grandmothers work. I hope someday someone will do that to my grandchildren or great grandchildren’s quilts.
Thank you, Carol! It really means a lot to me that he trusted me with such a treasure. 🙂
Wow! That looks great! Your brother is going to be so happy!
Thank you, I think so, too!
Fantastic job! Love that you were able to save so much of your grandmother’s work – the after is amazing. Hope your brother knows how lucky he is to have such a sweet and talented sister.
Thank you! 😊
Wow, that is love! Your brother is very lucky to have someone like you that would take such precious care of his quilt. Nice work!
Aw, it’s just wonderful that you did such a loving restoration!