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    Quilt Legacy

    Today was a day around town where lots of historic quilts were on display, and so I went from place to place. Some you could tell were used everyday and then put away because they were faded. Do you think the quilts we are making today will live to tell their story 150 years from now? Or even 80 years from now? Do you think the quality of fabric will last? Quilts from the past were hardly washed, as it would have been a buck board and some soap all done by hand and beat on a rock to and line dried. Do you think our modern washing machines damage them over the years? What are your thoughts of the quilt legacy trail you are leaving in your wake?
    Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

    https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

    https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

    #2
    Re: Quilt Legacy

    Sadly, I really don't expect the quilts I make to last very long. This is such a disposable society; some one in the not too distant future will view a quilt the same way they view a used blanket. "Ugh! Dirty! Toss it!"

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      #3
      Re: Quilt Legacy

      I washed a really beautiful log cabin quilt made in the Amish country of Pennsylvania and given to us for a wedding present. I should never have washed it. Fabrics started coming apart in it. I was so upset I donated it. I couldn't stand to look at what I'd done to it. I don't recommend washing quilts unless absolutely necessary. Better to take them outside and give them a good shake. Hang them in the shade to air out with the backing facing up. We wash things way too often in my opinion.

      While we were living in the Netherlands, routinely, some of the neighbors who lived across the street from us would hang out their window their bed linen to air. People used to do this quite often in the past. Hang it over the clothes line in the sun. Of course, I wouldn't do this with dark fabrics since they would fade. However, Mom used to hang all our clothes on the line to dry - darks and lights. I don't remember any issues with fading back then. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

      I don't worry too much about how long my quilts last. I just hope they will be well loved for the time they have on this earth. I agree, though, people have gotten into this throw it away attitude that makes me very sad. Joe and I do all we can to make sure things we no longer want or care about go to charity. We have a second hand shop here run by the Presbyterian Church that helps fund an organization called H.I.S. House. It houses families who have no place to live while they are looking for work. I was happy to hear that so far they have been able to donate one million dollars to the organization because of our donations. I asked what happens to the items they can't sell. She says almost nothing is thrown away. If they can't sell it, it is given to the needy.
      Last edited by rebeccas-sewing; July 30, 2016, 01:16 PM.
      Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Quilt Legacy

        I wash all my quilts many times and never had the falling apart problem. Now if I didn't make it I would be Leary of washing. I think fabric sizing and starch must be washed out because that can do damage by leaving it in. Dyes from years ago were made out of real substances like beets or mustard. Today fabrics are dyed with synthetic dyes, I wonder if the synthetics will linger longer?
        Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

        https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

        https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Quilt Legacy

          Originally posted by rebeccas-sewing View Post
          I washed a really beautiful log cabin quilt made in the Amish country of Pennsylvania and given to us for a wedding present. I should never have washed it. Fabrics started coming apart in it. I was so upset I donated it. I couldn't stand to look at what I'd done to it. I don't recommend washing quilts unless absolutely necessary. Better to take them outside and give them a good shake. Hang them in the shade to air out with the backing facing up. We wash things way too often in my opinion.

          I don't worry too much about how long my quilts last. I just hope they will be well loved for the time they have on this earth. I agree, though, people have gotten into this throw it away attitude that makes me very sad. Joe and I do all we can to make sure things we no longer want or care about go to charity. We have a second hand shop here run by the Presbyterian Church that helps fund an organization called H.I.S. House. It houses families who have no place to live while they are looking for work. I was happy to hear that so far they have been able to donate one million dollars to the organization because of our donations. I asked what happens to the items they can't sell. She says almost nothing is thrown away. If they can't sell it, it is given to the needy.
          My grandmother had nine girls and oodles of grand kids. She was a quilter and a very good one, I might ad. When I think of all the piecing tools, nice sewing machine etc. that I have, and she had scissors, a treadle machine, thread and templates made out of cardboard. I have several of her quilts. Some are so thick that I do not see how she hand quilted through such thick batting. They were real toe benders. Her quilts were made out of scraps of all kinds. I have one quilt that has rayon, seersucker, cotton, and corduroy pieces in it. When one of the grand kids had an "accident" at night and soiled one of her quilts, she would wash the spot with soap and rinse with water, then hang it on the line to dry. I don't see how one person could lift and hang one of her quilts to dry if it was soaking wet. They were so heavy. I, on the other hand, do not hesitate to wash my quilts if they get soiled and I always wash my quilts after they are quilted as I love that crinkled look. However, her quilts were many times heavier than mine. I can remember sleeping under a pile of those quilts and barely being able to turn over.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Quilt Legacy

            Some very good thoughts and questions. As for the ones I have donated, I don't expect them to last that long. As for the ones I have gifted, I think a few might. It all depends on whether the recipient values it for a personal gift and knows how to store it or uses it. I prefer that my quilts get used and the recipient shares the love I put into making the quilt.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Quilt Legacy

              I have a 9-patch quilt on my bed that a couple quilters made for us when we first were married. I've washed it several times over the past 40 yrs., but definitely not every year. I recently had to mend an area where the threads were coming loose before I washed it this summer. I wash it in cold water on the gentle cycle, partially dry it in the dryer on delicate, then hang it outside to finish drying.

              I visited the Netherlands in 1990 when my son married a Dutch gal. I saw people hanging their bedding on the window ledges to air on Mon. a.m. Pillows, too. Weather permitting, I always hang my pillows out in the sun to air when I change the linens. Love that fresh air smell.

              I have a quilt my mom passed down to me, but I've never used it. It's been stored in the linen closet all these years. Sometime I probably ought to have it appraised. It has a lot of embroidered names on it.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Quilt Legacy

                I have 10 quilts that I use in rotation. They are washed often. They are all probably 20 years old and sure, they sometimes need a little mending, but they just get better with age. Softer . I know they will eventually wear out and be no good, but I have a stack of new ones that will replace them. I know my fabric is better than that that my grandmother used in the 30's. She used clothing that was already worn out to make quilts and they lasted a decade or more, so with new fabric they should last a long time. I think if we make something that we truly are proud of and want to pass on, we should probably take more care but, what good is it if we don't use it.
                Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
                Terry

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                  #9
                  Re: Quilt Legacy

                  Originally posted by janbee View Post
                  They were real toe benders.
                  I love this saying! I've slept under a few of those!
                  Cindy

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Quilt Legacy

                    I have quilts that i made 30+ yrs ago when my kids were babies. They were used and washed continually for years. After the last kid was out of a crib I put them away until GKs arrived. Now they are in use again and seem to have held up well.
                    I know this doesn't compare to 100+ yrs but it's not bad.
                    “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal.”

                    ― Albert Pine

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Quilt Legacy

                      As long as mine are cherished that is all that matters.
                      Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Quilt Legacy

                        My grandmother was a quilter, and made lots of quilts out of scrap fabric given to her from a factory where hats were made; bright colored floppy hats and baseball caps, I believe. This fabric was very low quality, and just shredded after washing only a few times. Very disappointing for anyone who received one of them as a gift. I don't think she ever knew that the fabric was so cheap.

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                          #13
                          Re: Quilt Legacy

                          My MIL passed about five years ago. She was quite a quilter and even owned her own quilt shop for about ten years. We have at least 30 quilts that she made over the years. Unfortunately she was a machine quilter and her favorite thread was that horrible invisible stuff that is like plastic. The quilts she made with that thread are all falling apart already and they are only about 15 years old. It is sad.I think that thread just cut into the fabric after awhile and all the seams are separating from the blocks. So please, if you are a machine quilter, do not use that kind of thread!!

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