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October 29, 2009


Laura B.

Ok. I dont have much experience, but if she doesn't have any sentimental ties, she should use it however she wants. If she knew the original quilter, then I think she would want to keep it as in tact as possible. But I just went to her blog and it sounds like no sentimental use it however she wants and then love it! The fabrics are very pretty.

Sherry V.

I'm not a quilt historian; nor do I have alot of experience in rescuing quilts. However, I have attended some lectures about old quilts, etc.

Since this quilt is not what would be considered museum quality nor does it have any historical significance (unless there are signatures & dates that you haven't mentioned) it really can be used any way that she wants.

I think that she should do whatever she wishes to do & enjoy the colors of the quilt.


I am in agreement with the comments so sentimental ties to the quilt... so use it as a cutter quilt.. Make something nice with it. If the fabric is wearing out already, it would be a shame to put all that work into it and then end up with a unusable quilt.

Maria Stahl (again)

I agree too. If she can find a way to use the quilt, she will still be honoring the original purpose of the maker, which was to make a lovely, useful textile.


I say cut it up and make things from it....putting that much time, effort and money into something that is not in good shape to begin with, is not always the best. I've learned from experience that sometimes restoring something old is not always the right thing to still have that something old and it's the same restored as it was before. If that makes sense.


Guess I'm with everyone else here..I say use it as she wishes and not put a lot of time and effort into something that won't mean much afterwards anyway. Think it'd be a bigger source of enjoyment to make some useful things (teddy bears, bags, pillows, whatever). Just my 2 cents.


I had a good customer ask me what to do with a "grandma" quilt, with multiple family members asking for it. It too was in very poor condition. I am not an expert, nor a historian, just a quilt junkie who has tried the restoration is simply to difficult to do, time consuming, frustrating, especially when you hand sew one seam and another tears out!

I would save the good portions and try to use them. If you are lucky enough to find usable portions, remember, when you try to sew or quilt on them, they too are liable to tear or shred.

I have also heard from real historians that when you put one stitch in a 1800 quilt, the quilt b ecomes a quilt from the year you put the stitch in. Kinda weird I know. If you want to repair an old quilt you truly need the real vintage fabrics from the era the quilt was made.

With the limited experience I have with just isn't worth it.

Lizzie Swinney

personally I feel like if it is that much work it would be time well spent to make small items that will stand the test of time. I have a quilt that my mother gave me when I was very young. It got stains on it over the years and didn't look good at all. I have since cut it up to make lots of things and am very happy with the results. But that's just my opinion.



I obviously have nothing to offer in this area but I'm enjoying the post and comments as they roll in.

Susan Ramey Cleveland

If the fabric or thread is deteriorating, it probably won't do any good to repair the damaged areas. But if the rest of the quilt seems to be holding up, I say fix it. From the photo, it looks lovely. But in real life it might be in worse shape than it looks.


This link will take you to my daughters blog I know this is not a quilt but I know that it made everyone happy who received little piece of Afton's spread


You might try asking Darlene Zimmerman. She has a wonderful old quilt collection and has restored many. My sister-in-law checked with her about a quilt and Darlene told her unless it had sentimental value, it wasn't (in dollars) valuable


She might want to try reinforcing the good parts of the quilt with some very lightweight iron-on interfacing. That would give it extra strength and maybe add a few more years of use to the fabric.


I think that I would just salvage the good parts for other projects. The idea to reinforce the better areas with some lightweight fusible interfacing is a good one.


Interesting question. I would take and cut it up into three large square sections, frame it, and display it on the wall since it sounds so fragile. If there is any extra leftover, I would try and make some pillows to use as accents for the room and place somewhere they wouldn't be moved around much to prevent further damage. I wish her luck!

Christine Thomas

I had thought about the framing idea, too. But that would only work for me if it were of sentimental value. I know one's of no use to anyone if it's just packed up and put away because it's too fragile to have out. Cut it up and use it joyfully.

Jane Weston

I don't think there is a right answer to this. I personally would have chopped it up to make bags or an item of clothing or pillows, but as she has already started the process of disassembling it, then I think what ever she can do with it will be a bonus.


I totally agree that your sister should not take the time to try to restore such a damaged item if it is not historically valuable and she should use it to make other things, but as a former antique dealer could I suggest that she take a photo and dimensions of the quilt and make a fabric label of the information that she could sew into the projects that she makes from it. That information would be greatly appreciated by future generations.


I would see how it survived the wash. If it comes out looking strong, I would make the repairs. Old quilts should be saved if possible because someone put a lot of effort into them. Just my


I wanted to pop in and thank everyone for their responses and suggestions. It really is a beautiful quilt (to me - I adore 30's fabrics) and I think more than anything I want to honor the person that originally made it. It may not have any historical or financial value but it is a fascinating glimpse into an era and someone's creativity under, what I can only imagine, many hardships.
I am happy to report that it cleaned up nicely and most of the fabric is in really good shape - except along the edges. I'll see how the repair work goes and hopefully I'll be able to turn it back into a quilt (that will get used quite gently).
Thank you again for all the advice.


Did you start that quilt top around Oct. 12 and finish it already?? I'm amazed and inspired!! Gorgeous fall colors!

Nanna mary

I am not A good Quilter as you know Nicole I an still learning But that old quilt is something to treasure I would try to restore it If possible.
Hugs Mary.

Lisa V ancor

I have an old Double wedding ring that is getting very shreddy and I have finally decided to save the good parts and make tea cozies and maybe a few cute makeup bags.

I would not want to try to requilt an old quilt as they are just too fragile.

Enjoy the best parts and they will make nice Christmas Gifts.
Long time quilter and teacher

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