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    antique quilt top . . .

    Hello everyone,
    I am very new to quilting, I have produced six quilts todate, and 4 of those have been in the last 2 years. I have just gotten my hands on a quilt top that was produced for my father when he was 18, he is now 81, but it was never quilted. It was made by his grandmother, and has great sentimental value to him.
    I want to get the quilt finished for him (he has always wanted it done, but never new anyone who could do the work), but I only have a standard home machine, not a long arm quilting machine. The quilts I have made in the past I have quilted with a walking foot with the exception of one quilt I quilted on my 1915 treadle machine. That machine is one of the rare back clamping models so I have not been able to get a walking foot or hopper foot for it (because I beleive they do not exist).
    My question is should I quilt this myself or send it off to have it machine quilted? I got one quilt done here at Missouri Star and am very pleased with the work they did, but I don't know about a family treasure like this.
    I guess I want to know if there is anyone out there who has made this choice, and what they felt about the outcome.

    thanks,
    Jack

    #2
    Re: antique quilt top . . .

    I just dug out an antique quilt that my grandmother made with used clothing in the 30's. She taught me to quilt on this quilt and then I used it for 30 yrs. I put it away sometime in the 80's because it was falling apart and thought I would get it repaired someday when I had better skills. Well, I took it out and looked at it and all of the fabric is falling apart (I guess you would call it rotting) and I think it is hopeless. I hope yours is in good condition and that you go ahead and get it done!.
    Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
    Terry

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      #3
      Re: antique quilt top . . .

      I have this same dilemma with a quilt top my great grandmother made. I would love to hand quilt it, but I've always been afraid I'd ruin it. I also don't want to send it out or have someone finish it. Then I feel guilty is not done. She had 5 quilt tops. So, I think she liked piecing better, like me.
      One yard of fabric, like one cookie, is never enough!

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        #4
        Re: antique quilt top . . .

        I would suggest you call or email the Missouri girls and ask them if they think they could do an antique quilt.Good luck
        :icon_wave:Joan

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          #5
          Re: antique quilt top . . .

          oh, your question is a tough one. The thing with old quilt tops. Carefully inspect it for foxing. Foxing sometimes happens to old documents. There will be spots or flecks of brown or rust. If it has this I would not. If this top has any dark colors of red, blue, or black, it is possible those fabric will oxidize quickly when exposed to the elements of sunlight coming through the windows or washing with harsh modern day detergents and chlorine in the water supply. If your quilt top has not oxidized it is because it has lacked oxygen in storage and I think might deteriorate very quickly once out and about.

          You have a hard decision. If you can quilt it yourself, that would be very neat as you would be helping out the person who made it by completing it and helping the person it is for stay warm. I think in the long run that would add to the sentimental part of it for you and your family. But, like I said you have a hard decision to make. I wish you the best with whatever you decide.

          I would recommend making a duplicate of this quilt with today's fabric so you will have one to last and use without the worry of it oxidizing to nothing.
          Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

          https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

          https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

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            #6
            Re: antique quilt top . . .

            I've no experience with antique quilt tops, but here are some thoughts.

            Take many photos, front and back, close up and far away. Quilts are cloth, they can not possibly last forever no matter how well taken care of. Study the fabric, quiz your father, try and determine what it was made from in case you ever wish to make a replica becaus there are a lot of reproduction fabrics available. Perhaps you'd even want to make a replica now and put away the old top to preserve it if it's not in very good shape.

            Quilts are love and memories and time capsules. Ask your father what he truly wants. For it to be done to perfection, or to be made so he can use it and enjoy it.

            Life is short, at any age. Make a decision to get it done, perfect doesn't matter. No longarmer will be able to guarantee work on an old quilt top, but most would do their best. I like the suggestion of calling M* and asking them, but remember that while they take care they are in the business of fast all over quilting and you may instead want custom quilting by someone local where you can stop in and view any problems they run into. But if it's in great shape and you want the quilt done and loveable, M* would be a good option if they are willing to work on an old top.

            Family treasures should be treasured and appreciated. Once they're hidden away they lose relevance. Ten generations from now are not going to be enjoying this quilt, so make sure it gets loved now. There are always pictures, memories, and of course quilting skills to pass down. This memory is for your father, now. I'm not a person who lives with many regrets, but I sure do wish I had made my grandfather the mincemeat pie he asked for (I was a fantastic baker, but I was young and, ewwww mincemeat! Now it sounds good to me, and he's gone. I now realize he wanted to relive something, experience something again, but the importance of such a simple thing wasnt apparent to me when I was so young. It wouldn't have mattered if I'd made the type he wanted or if it was any good, just that I'd made it, I baked all kinds of things for him and cooked his heart healthy diet for him when he came to live with us. Of all the lovely times we had together, of all the wishes we fulfilled for him, the one silly pie request has been that big regret.)

            Comment


              #7
              Re: antique quilt top . . .

              You have already received so many good ideas and suggestions that I don't have much to add.

              Stitchwishes made some good points. I would talk with your Grandfather and find out what he wants. Chances are good he would like to have the comfort of the memories and love that this quilt represents to him. Another option could be to tie the quilt. That doesn't usually appeal to me but in order to get the quilt done for him and be able to do it yourself this could work. I've seen some lovely tied quilts and they do serve a purpose. Or if you like hand quilting I've heard that big stitch quilting is a much faster way to hand quilt but can't tell you details from experience (I love hand quilting but haven't tried big stitch quilting, yet.)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: antique quilt top . . .

                Yikes! Sometimes women left their quilts unquilted because they realized that the thing didn't go together correctly and now wouldn't lay flat so they put it aside. Sometimes women make quilts and eventually couldn't do the standing and bending it took to quilt the quilt but could still sit and sew them together and left them unquilted.

                You didn't say how big or small the quilt is but be sure it is big enough for someone to use.

                If the quilt is awesome for some reason (except for love) you might considering calling the maker's hometown and talking with their historical society and see if they have a collection of old quilts and would be interested in having it for historical reason. Ask your grandfather's permission and have it dedicated in the maker's and his name. If the quilt is a family love item then bring it to someone local and ask what they would do for machine quilting and batting. I'd use a light synthetic batting so it would get so it wouldn't suffer much from tugging and pulling if it needs washing.

                Please figure out what should be used for history and dates and persons on a label on the back (probably sew it on after quilting) If your embroidery looks like mine, type your label out on a computer and ask a friend to print it out (large font) on white cotton with a laser printer (the alternative is an ink jet, it will wash off), hem it and sew on the back.

                You so lucky to have this and your father to share it with.

                Jois

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                  #9
                  Re: antique quilt top . . .

                  If MSQC can't quilt it, they might know of some group or person who is experienced in repairing and quilting old quilts. There are folks who restore old furniture, paintings, buildings etc why not old quilts. kathy
                  All quilts cat tested and approved.
                  sigpic

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                    #10
                    Re: antique quilt top . . .

                    I am trying to repair my friend's great grandmother's quilt, but someone cut out 3 entire blocks from random places. I have been able to make pieces to fit in these spots out of some of the quilt's fabric but now I don't know how to join the block to the quilt. I need to cover both back and front raw edges. Any thought are appreciated.

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                      #11
                      Re: antique quilt top . . .

                      I think I would start by taking this to your local quilt guild and see if someone in the group would take a look at it with you, pointing out any weaknesses or trouble spots they see and then armed with that info call MSQC about quilting it once you have kind of a codition report from the guild. (Besides, I am sure they would love to see it!) I think it is wonderful that you want to rescue this for your father. Good luck, please let us know how this turns out. And welcome to the Forum from Wisconsin.

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                        #12
                        Re: antique quilt top . . .

                        I would take it to your LQS or guild, and have someone look over it with you and provide guidance especially regarding co b dition of fabric. If possible to have your grandfather go with you, that would be great. If condition is good, and you feel comfortable quilting it, I think it may be extra special to him to have you do it. Talk to him and see what he wants. I recently quilted one for my mother's friend that had been passed down many generations. The top was very dingy and dirty from age. If this is the case, be sure to quilt it before washing. (I learned this the hard way.) Any way, I had to be very careful because some of the fabric was thin, but the look on mom's friend's face when she saw it was worth the effort. Regardless of your decision of how to complete it ( tie, LA by check, walking foot, etc.) It will be a special bond between you and your grandfather.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: antique quilt top . . .

                          Originally posted by Cool Breeze Quilter View Post
                          You have already received so many good ideas and suggestions that I don't have much to add.

                          Stitchwishes made some good points. I would talk with your Grandfather and find out what he wants. Chances are good he would like to have the comfort of the memories and love that this quilt represents to him. Another option could be to tie the quilt. That doesn't usually appeal to me but in order to get the quilt done for him and be able to do it yourself this could work. I've seen some lovely tied quilts and they do serve a purpose. Or if you like hand quilting I've heard that big stitch quilting is a much faster way to hand quilt but can't tell you details from experience (I love hand quilting but haven't tried big stitch quilting, yet.)
                          My thought was to tie it too. It would be quick, finished by you, and your Dad could enjoy it now.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: antique quilt top . . .

                            Just an observation: The original post is over 2 years old.
                            Pieced By Me! :icon_wave:

                            Pre-cut Yardage Chart

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