Reworking Vintage

Posted on May 2, 2018 by prairiemoonquilts in Handstitching, Quilts

I have quite a collection of vintage quilt tops and vintage orphan blocks. One of my favorite quilting pastimes is reworking them into new finished quilts. I don’t get to spend as much time at it as I’d like, but every now and then, I put in some effort on it.

I’m teaching at Arrow Rock Quilt Camp all this week, so while my students are busy doing their work, I can fit in a few stitches right along with them, so I brought along this quilt top to work on:

I bought this top last year during Quilt Camp right here in Arrow Rock, at Peecher’s Mercantile, and after an entire year, I’m not real far along at rescuing it.

Most of the seams in the blocks are frayed out, so it’s completely falling apart. And there are some stains, and some completely missing patches.

I’m reworking each little HST block just as it was in the original quilt, only they’ll come out smaller.

I’m putting them all back just like they were, “mistakes” and all. That way it’ll keep its charm!

Where patches are completely missing, I’ll substitute some fabric from my vintage fabric stash. When I’m all done, I think I may add a border to bring the size up some, even tho the original does not have a border. I have plenty of vintage fabric to use up!

Then I plan to machine quilt it. I know that’s blasphemous to some folks, but I don’t have time to hand quilt it, and I’d rather it be finished than laying around as a top yet again.

I machine quilt a lot of vintage tops for customers, and I’m happy to do it for that very reason — it’s much better that they’re finished, and can be used and enjoyed, than laying around unfinished (at least in my opinion).

Here’s a sneak peek of one that I just quilted for Edie McGinnis:

Today, on lunch break from class, I went back to Peecher’s again, and found a couple more vintage goodies I’m gonna take a crack at. This Log Cabin quilt — all hand pieced!

It has a few spots that need to be repaired, then I’ll machine quilt it.

Then I found this Sunbonnet Sue piece that appears to be a summer spread. Some of the blanket stitching on the Sues needs fixing, then I plan to machine quilt this one, too, and make a real quilt out of it. It’s very cute.

I also bought a few orphan blocks and have some plans for those.

Meanwhile, my students are busy making little Autumn Welcome wall hangings in my classes this week! Here’s Rose and Anne with their projects:

I think we’re all having lots of fun. Well, except for the tornado watch we’re under for tonight — uff!

(The Autumn Welcome pattern can be found in my Etsy Shop in print or PDF versions, if you’re interested!)

6 responses to “Reworking Vintage”

  1. Ruth says:

    I love doing this kind of work also. What fun to imagine those women in their own situations, stitching their love into beauty! Right now, repairing & putting a new binding on the “graduation” quilt I made for our oldest 18 years ago. Soon it will be ready for 18 more years of quilt love!

  2. Rose Marie says:

    Fantastic work by all of you. I like the Autumn Welcome. And Edie’s quilt is fabulous. It looks like you all had fun this week even if there was a tornado watch. We had it up here also and nothing much happened……..just some lightning and a bit of rain.

  3. Cathy says:

    Great your saving vintage quilts,giving them a good home! Be safe with the tornado watch.
    Happy Quilting!!!

  4. randy says:

    thanks for posting. At a recent retreat a member brought an old wedding ring quilt that ! lived in a smokers house and two needed parts removed. The pack looked at it discussed disassembled and began fixing it. Some one knew how to lessen the smoke smell… I was in the zone fee motioning so I didn’t take photos…Dang

  5. Shirley Guier says:

    Edie’s really turned out nice. Love the log cabin too!

  6. Wendy Tuma says:

    Oh, I’ve been missing your posts! I just signed up for emails again, so we’ll see if I can get them now. Those vintage tops are lovely. Will be fun to see them as you progress working on them!

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