As many folks who follow this blog know, I am known in my quilting circles as the one who fixes, refurbishes, or otherwise gives old, tattered quilts that have lost hope, a new beginning. I cannot resist a challenge, and I find that hopeless quilts pose interesting challenges. An added bonus is that I usually end up learning something in the process of “rescuing” a quilt, and that makes it all worthwhile. (I think from now on I’ll call myself “The Quilt Whisperer.”)
Such was the case for this old postage stamp quilt top that one of my quilting buddies’ relatives unearthed from some dark, musty, and forgotten corner of her life. The fabric was so old that in parts it was threadbare, frayed, thin in places, and full of holes.
Part of the project then, not only involved quilting it, but also finding a way to patch up the holey parts while managing to maintain the historical integrity of the quilt.
I ended up quilting it by hand, partly because I was not sure the fabric would hold up to the machine, but mainly because it just CALLED for hand quilting–the historical weight of the fabric, as well as the pattern just would not look right with machine quilting. It would just not work.
As can be expected, the hand quilting element made it take longer than a regular machine quilted one would, but it also gave me the opportunity to sit down and “slow stitch,” which I always find enjoyable and soothing. In fact, I’ve been checking out the Slow Stitching Movement that is becoming so popular in some circles, and I think it’s great.
The folks who commissioned the fix were very happy with the result. In fact, I am told they couldn’t stop looking and admiring it. The best part of it all: they didn’t even notice nor object to the patched sections!
For all those interested in the process of how to create a postage stamp quilt, this link shows a great tutorial:
Although you can sew your quilt however you like, the
traditional postage stamp quilt is sewn from 1.5″ square pieces, which
are sewn with 1/4″ seams, so that the result is a finished quilt
consisting entirely of 1″ squares. The finished quilt is astounding,
but, of course, starting with 3″ squares will get you done in half the
time, so there you go.
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