Saturday, August 22, 2015

An Old Quilt Revisited

Fourteen years ago, right after our cross-country move to Oregon, I made my daughter her college quilt.  From start to finish the quilt took eight weeks, including the (fairly sparse) hand quilting.  This is rephotographed from an old print of that quilt when it was newly completed, just before packing it in that small wooden trunk and mailing it off to her for Christmas that year.

Last week, while helping her clear out an apartment, I noticed the quilt's binding had become quite frayed along the edges, and offered to bring it home and rebind it for her.  She was a bit reluctant at first, saying this was her very favorite quilt and she wrapped up in it every night, but she finally relented and it came home with me for a few days.  So, this is what it looked like when I laid it out on the spare bed:
Faded - definitely, a lot!  Fourteen years of everyday use, countless washings in laundromats with Tide pods (yikes!) really takes a toll.

Fabric nearly threadbare and about worn out, but soft as a kitten!  Found about a dozen of those small tears on the front, no doubt from a few kitten and puppy claws through the years.   Now, this is one well-loved quilt!  I was happy to discover that the quilting threads had all held up to the wear and tear, and the poly batting, though a lot thinner than when it was new, had not bearded or lumped despite the sparse quilting.

A little patchwork ensued.

The original binding was that same dark blue solid used in the sashing, and had long disappeared from the stash.  I finally located a soft faded dusty rose fabric in a tiny print that looked like it would blend well with both the front and back of the quilt.

So, sporting some quilty band-aids and new binding, this one is ready to make the trip back to my daughter's place next week and will hopefully last a few more years.

Our spell of heat and humidity has finally broken, 44 degrees this morning when I turned on the coffee pot.  The garden is beginning to look like it is ready for fall to arrive.  I think we are too.


  1. I'm so glad that you were able to bring new life to that quilt. My daughter has given me a couple of old quilts I'd made for her, asking me to salvage them. Alas, they're both beyond real repair, but I'm going to at least replace the frayed binding and try to breathe a little more life into those quilts. It does my heart good to see that one of my quilts was loved and used, as I'm sure it does yours.

  2. What a wonderful task of love!!! Isn't it gratifying to see our quilts being loved and used? I recently had to repair a few holes in my little grandson's quilt and I actually rejoiced in the signs of usage. He won't go to bed without it, and that makes grandma's heart happy!!!

  3. I bet you felt really good that the quilt was hard for her to part with - even to be fixed. We do want quilts to be used!

  4. Well-loved quilts and the joy they've given others make quilting so rewarding. I have a quilt that my then-near-blind grandmother made of feedsack fabric in the 1970's. It received much the same love and cleaning and has many tears to be fixed. Back then, I was not a quilter and knew nothing of caring for such a treasure. It now awaits mending in a special chest.

  5. Nothing better to know you made a quilt that was so truly loved. What a compliment and I am sure it makes your heart happy. So nice that you can fix it and help it to last even longer. We have had some 40 degree temps here too and I do see that the weather is changing. Fall is on its way.

  6. That is one well loved quilt! How sweet of you to fix it back up for her.

    I've noticed the pumpkins here starting to turn too. Fall is almost here.

  7. I love your "patchwork"! And I think the new binding gives the quilt a feeling of new life. Nice job.
    Doesn't it feel good to have your work appreciated?

  8. That's a great story. I'm glad you were able to give it a new lease on life. I guess it good to keep some of that "older " fabric around. You never know. I've felt fall in the air a couple days ago. Now there's just smoke in the air from all those horrible fires in the northwest.

  9. I have goosebumps! How wonderful the quilt is so loved. The 'band aids' are precious. Sporting it's new binding, I'm sure it will have more decades of love. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. We have some quilts that the mice got to and need to be repaired. It is nice seeing simple patches. I think we feel pressured to make it as good as new, but really the little patches are sweet and tell a story. Thanks for sharing.


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