Quilts and Quilting

Next Project to Finish: Repairing the Quilt Bill’s Mom Made

(That sentence should read “Learning how to type “repair” correctly, as for some reason it took me many tries to do it right.)

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My late mother-in-law, Elsa, made this quilt for my husband, her youngest son, long before he and I ever met. 

It’s the next quilt in my Finishing project.

The block pattern is Ohio Star.  Each of the fifteen blocks is about fifteen inches square, and they’re all divided by borders about 2 1/2 inches wide.  Then there are additional borders around the outside.

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I like the rounded corners.

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Bill’s mom, my late mother-in-law, Elsa, made this quilt.  He says he had it on his bed for many years.  You can see she’d repaired it in places over the years – see the darker blue fabric in the square above?  And the one below?

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While for the most part Elsa machine-stitched this quilt, I’ve found some hand sewing, too.  It looks like she made replacement squares and hand-sewed them in place, like this:

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And the outer edge of the quilt is all hand-sewn.

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Front and back.

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Pretty cool, huh?

And on a side note…I find that as I talk about these women and the quilts they’ve made, I refer to them by their first names.  Bill’s grandmother, Gladys.  His mother, Elsa.  Even my own grandmother.  When I’m thinking of her making quilts…I’m thinking of her as Emma Jane.  The name of the woman who did the sewing.  Another woman.  One who was my age at some point, long before I showed up and turned her into a grandmother.  Yes, she made my quilt when she was also a grandmother, but for this project…I’m thinking of her as Emma Jane.  I’ll probably write more about this again as I go along.

Anyway, back to Bill’s quilt….

I’ve got a bunch of repairs to make.

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I’ve got my work cut out for me.  S’cuse the pun.

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The back will need some TLC also.  See the hole? 

It’s from these:

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The spots where the quilt was tied.  Over the years, the knots have pulled against the quilt back, tearing the fabric in places.  I’m thinking I’ll appliqué over the holes and re-tie the knots.  Haven’t decided yet.

Now, I’m not too worried about making the repairs.  It’s a very straightforward quilt pattern, and I even found the templates for the blocks.

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Pretty nice, huh?

I drew a rough sketch of the quilt, pinpointed the areas that needed work, and figured out how many squares, triangles and strips I’d need.

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Pretty simple.

The thing is, I don’t have the fabric in this quilt.  No idea if there was any more of it anywhere – I just know I don’t have it.

Now, the solid blue would be simple enough to find, and I could probably find a pattern similar to the one used in the original quilt.

But…I can’t.

There’s some unwritten list of rules in my head that says I have to use what I have.  I can’t just go out and buy new fabric.  I have to use fabric from my own stash.

Them’s the rules.

So.

I pulled out bins of fabric, held up swatch after swatch against the quilt to see what would work best, and here’s what I came up with.

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I  only need two squares of solid blue, and I’ve got a nice dark blue that will work out nicely.

I found a small print fabric that isn’t exactly the same.  It doesn’t have any red, for example, and the original print does.  But I think it will do.

So.  With that settled, I washed the fabrics and cut out my pieces.

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And that’s where things stand at this point.

That’s it for now – time to catch up on laundry, housework, and a little grocery shopping.

4 thoughts on “Next Project to Finish: Repairing the Quilt Bill’s Mom Made

  1. Beautiful, so many people can’t appreciate the labor of love required to accomplish this.
    I have a quilt made for me before I was born by my Dad’s Mother.
    Not to be outdone, Nana on my Mom’s side had to do one also.
    This one however, I was required to help with.
    Oh how I tried to get out of that claiming I needed glasses, my eyes hurt, I had a headache.
    I was only Julia’s age then, and am 70 now so these quilts are ‘keepers’.

  2. I love so much that you’re repairing these quilts, appreciating the work and care that went into making them. I literally just spent some time repairing one of my favorite quilts before heading to bed and surfing the net when I stumbled upon this post.

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