23 July 2016

Finishing Grandma's Quilts

Last summer about this time, I organized all of the quilts I kept from my parents' house. You can read more about that project and see lots of quilt pictures HERE.

I kept a few quilts that my maternal grandma pieced but never quilted, and I've been hoping to have them finished so I can put them to use. In fact, one of my goals as we re-decorated our bedroom was to keep the decor neutral so that I could bring out my various quilts as accent pieces.
 I recently contacted our local quilt store who put me in touch with a woman who has experience finishing old quilts using long arm quilting. I'm going to meet with her next week so she can get started!

I decided to start with the simplest one, this quilt top which I believe is a 9-square design. Unlike the other unfinished quilt tops, I don't recognize any of this fabric from Grandma's dresses or aprons, but I know she made it because my aunt (her daughter) verified it. The quilt expert I consulted confirmed that the fabrics are from the 30's and 40's, when my grandma would have been a young wife and mother.

This is how the quilt top looks unfolded. It's in very good shape, according to the lady at the quilt shop!

I purchased muslin for the back of the quilt and batting for the inside, based on what the quilter recommended. Thank goodness the woman at the quilt shop led me by the nose, because I was like a fish out of water there!

From what I can tell in looking at Grandma's quilts, she usually machine-stitched the tops then quilted them by hand. I can only imagine what a labor-intensive process it must be to do hand-quilting! I'm sure that's why she left a few quilt tops unfinished.

So next week I'll meet with the quilter, select a quilting design, and let her get to work. I'm so excited to see how it turns out! And more importantly, I'm very much looking forward to displaying and using all of my quilts, as they were meant to be.
It's so great when you actually DO something you've thought about for a very long time, and that's how I feel about this project. Stay tuned!


Kristina said...

My mom's sister had all of my mother's unfinished quilts and cross stitch finished for my siblings and I. Some things were turned into pillows, a couple of runners and quilts. Glad to see your getting them finished.

Kimberly Marie said...

Beautiful quilts and the memories attached to them! I have some favorites that people hand stitched and gave me as gifts when Becca was born. Priceless!