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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