My sister Andrea was given the old quilt pictured above. She has been blogging about her dilemma concerning this quilt on her blog Under A Blue Moon, and has asked me to post a picture of it and raise the questions that have been on her mind.
You see, this quilt is in not such great shape. It has a large tear about six inches long, which goes right through to the back of the quilt; the fabric seems to be fraying on the seam lines; and the backing was in such bad shape that it is splitting in several places. Also, this quilt was a tied quilt, not a quilted one.
Her dilemma was should she try to salvage and repair this old quilt? Or should she cut up the good bits and use them for some other purpose, such as making pillows or bags etc? She has made the decision to try to salvage the quilt top, and repair the tears. She snipped away all the yarn ties, separated the quilt top from the batting (which she said was disgusting), and has been gently soaking the quilt top for a couple of days in her bathtub to get rid of the filth.
My question to you more experienced quilt historians out there is ----Is her effort to restore this quilt worth the bother? I mean, if the fabric is so delicate that it is tearing along the seam lines, will she be left with anything usable if she does the repairs, puts on a new backing and has the quilt quilted properly? Does all this tearing indicate that the fabric is too fragile (or rotten) to be used?
And most important question--would it be worth the time and expense to have it quilted once the repairs are made, and a new batting and backing found? Or should it be re-tied to fit in with the quilter's original intent?
Then we get back to the central question--does she try to rescue the entire quilt or just use some of the better sections in other projects?
If any of you have any thoughts or experience along these lines, your input would be most appreciated!