Home Quilting Tips on how to Restore an Previous Quilt

Tips on how to Restore an Previous Quilt


Restoring a classic quilt is an incredible approach to honor the craftsmanship of the previous. That mentioned, it can be fairly a frightening job! Award-winning quilter and writer Ebony Love realized the exhausting approach that in the case of figuring find out how to restore an previous quilt, you first have be prepared for the chance that it might’t be saved.

Early, very early, in my quilting enterprise (even earlier than I used to be an extended arm quilter) I took on a restoration undertaking for a shopper. It was a wholecloth, hand-quilted medallion quilt that had been hand-quilted by her aunt or grandmother or somebody. It’s not necessary to recollect who the somebody was; the purpose I would like you to recollect is that it was a wholecloth medallion.

how to repair an old quilt
How would you are feeling if somebody hacked 12″ off the aspect of this quilt? Picture courtesy of the writer.

The factor is… I didn’t know on the time I took on the restoration that it was a medallion. After I obtained the quilt, it simply had the busiest background I’d ever seen, actually compacted polyester batting, and what regarded like random stitches throughout the quilt. What was the restoration undertaking? I can hear you asking. The shopper requested me to chop down the quilt to a dimension that might match her mattress. I requested if she was positive, she mentioned sure. I requested her to place it in writing, she did. Then I requested her if there was something particular in regards to the quilt that I ought to find out about, and she or he mentioned no.

Hacking Aside a Wholecloth Medallion

So I laid the quilt throughout my reducing desk to see what the very best method could be to sort out this project. First, I took some measurements, inspected the quilting stitches, and decided that the least injury would happen if I minimize every thing off of 1 aspect and on the high. On a wholecloth medallion. That I didn’t know was a wholecloth medallion. I can now hear you audibly gasping. Why sure… sure I did hack off the aspect and the highest of this wholecloth medallion. How did I then uncover it was a WM?

Picture courtesy of the writer.

Nicely, now that the quilt had been hacked aside, and I had secured the sides by serging all of the uncovered edges, it was sufficiently small to suit on my design wall. So I made a decision to hold it up and take a photograph. As I stood again from the quilt to admire my very own handiwork, the solar streamed in from the left by way of the window overlooking my yard, and that angular gentle revealed a now off-center and unhappy trying medallion.

Explaining the Scenario

I used to be horror-struck. You realize that feeling you get within the pit of your abdomen such as you simply swallowed an enormous rock? Sure, that. I knew I had actually tousled, and I knew that I couldn’t undo it. The one factor I may do was name my shopper, clarify what occurred, and ask her what she needed me to do. She was fairly upset, however very calm.

Picture courtesy of MBCheathham from Getty Photographs Signature.

She didn’t perceive how I didn’t comprehend it was a wholecloth medallion, and that’s once I realized she and I thought-about various things “particular”. She was most likely considering that I needed some kind of story on provenance, once I simply needed to know particulars in regards to the quilt itself that might affect my work.

The Subsequent Steps

I requested her what she needed me to do, how she needed me to make it proper, and she or he mentioned it was fairly effectively ruined and to donate it to Goodwill. On that day, I donated the lopsided quilt to Goodwill, made pincushions from the hacked borders, and exited the quilt restore & restoration enterprise. Nicely… that final half was true till late final 12 months once I took on one other classic restoration.

how to repair an old quilt
Picture courtesy of the writer.

This one is a undertaking I’m doing by way of a particular undertaking of classic quilt rescue. There’s a company that collects classic quilt tops for various challenges and displays, and I received the chance to undertake one. On the time of the selecting, I received to be there in individual and get my quilt by way of a sort of lottery system (low numbers allow you to choose your high early.) I received a extremely excessive quantity, however fortunately, the quilt high I’d had my eye on all morning was nonetheless there when it was my flip.

Tackling a Horror Present of a Quilt

This scorching pink Dresden Plate quilt is an element horror present, half amazeballs. The amazeballs half is the mixture of all of the totally different materials and the hand-stitched embroidery to stipulate every plate in heavy black thread. The horror present is that the unique quilter received the concept to make use of a trapunto method to stuff every Dresden plate with polyester stuffing. I ought to say, to overstuff them.

Picture courtesy of the writer.

In the event you have a look at the quilt, you’ll be able to really plot the trail of the quilter who was initially excited in regards to the stuffing, then questioned their resolution however thought they’d gone too far to stop, and at last determined it actually wasn’t a good suggestion however undoing all that work was too overwhelming. You possibly can virtually image the quilter folding up that high, shoving it in a closet, and by no means excited about it once more, till in the future in true spring-cleaning trend they determined to donate that unfinished, amazeballs, horror present to make it another person’s downside.

Enter Ebony Love

That’s the place I are available in – as a result of there’s nothing that screams redemption for ruining a classic quilt greater than tackling one thing like this. I’m going to carry you on this journey with me, as a result of I wish to take my time with this quilt, actually research it, hold it on the wall so to talk. My very first job although, earlier than I may even start dreaming in regards to the quilting on this beautiful, monstrous, wonderful horror, is to divest it of the polyester fiberfill. That’s the very least I can do, don’t you assume?

how to repair an old quilt
Picture courtesy of MaxCab from Getty Photographs.

Then I worry we’re again to the angst of perfectionism and procrastination. I wish to do justice to this quilt, and due to this fact I have to stare at it for a while. If this had been your undertaking, how would you quilt this? Tag me on Instagram @lovebugstudios with a photograph of your personal classic restoration undertaking & some concepts (or horror story of your personal, I’m versatile.)

A Few Takeaways from this Expertise:

Proudly owning a pair of scissors isn’t a job qualification for quilt restoration (except you’re eradicating overstuffed trapunto)

Facet lighting is wonderful for exposing quilting particulars

Not each classic quilt might be saved

We hope this fast exploration of find out how to restore an previous quilt (or maybe how not to) has impressed you to fearlessly sort out your classic quilt restoration initiatives with confidence!

In regards to the Creator

Ebony Love is an award-winning quilter, writer, and acknowledged as a number one knowledgeable in material die-cutting strategies.

She is writer of The Massive Little E book of Material Die Slicing IdeasBinding Loopy Angles, and different books about quilting, stitching and die-cutting.


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