Finish old quilt?

bckstanfordJanuary 26, 2013

I have a "Jeweled Star" quilt top that was made by my great grandmother probably in the 1920's - 1930's. She only got as far as the star. The filler squares and triangles are not made. All the diamond pieces are from flour/grain sack material. I would love to finish the top and quilt it for my 85-year-old father. Has anyone else ever tried such a project and what cautions/advice can you offer.

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I'm working on finishing 2 vintage quilt tops right now. Both the tops were already assembled so I didn't need to finish the blocks. I did add borders and used some vintage fabric for that. I also am using vintage muslin for the backing and decided to hand quilt them. On both quilts the blocks were hand stitched and then assembled together by machine - I'm thinking be 2 different seamstresses, possibly from different generations.

What a treasure to find have that quilt top that your grandma worked on. It would be lovely for you to finish it for your father. Keep us updated on your progress!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Oh, what does "Jeweled Star" look like? Can you post a pic?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Thanks for the encouragement. Here's the picture of great-grandma's handwork. I need to add quite a lot of border. Just not sure what kind of material to go get. I don't have enough of any of my other grandmother's old scraps to do the project. I think it's a morning star pattern. I call it jeweled because another grandmother used that term since the star is made of diamonds, I suppose.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:32AM
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Here is another view of the top. It is quite large and will probably be queen size bedspread.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:36AM
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It's beautiful and looks like it's in good shape, especially considering it's age. Congrats on taking on this wonderful project!

Be cautious with the fabric though because the material and the thread may have become very fragile over the years. I don't know the answer but someone who's done this might be able to tell you if you should use a stabilizer on the back of the pieces your great-grandmother made.

Good luck and please keep posting so we know how the project is going!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:35AM
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One of the tops I am finishing is also made of feed sack material. The fabric feels old, but not as fragile as I expected, probably because it has not been laundered like a finished quilt would have been. If you do not have access to any vintage fabric, there are always great reproduction fabrics to use.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Jennifer has worked on antique quilts.....I'm sure she will have suggestions. I'll give her a shout to check in on this thread......


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Ok, let me start by saying I've not worked too much with antiques, but here's what I'll suggest on yours and you can take away what you think will work.

For starters, it looks like it's in really good shape, and well crafted. That will work in your favor. Because it's old, and feedsacks can tend to ravel, the first thing I would do is to machine stitch a basting seam along the edge all the way around the star.

Then you have a couple of options depending on your experience. You could basically applique the star to a background fabric.

If you have more experience, you could cut background pieces and fit them into the "Y" seams and stitch them together as you would normally piece. You would piece in 4 square pieces (the 4 corners, if you will) alternating with 4 side triangles. If I'm not mistaking, all the inner corners are 90 degree right angles and make figuring sizes a little easier.

If this makes any sense at all, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out measurements. If you'd like help thinking that through just let me know and I'll try to help.

I think your best choice of fabric may be a muslin... If it were me, I might choose an unbleached or tea-dyed muslin that would make a nice neutral background to those feedsacks.

Hope this helps... let me know if you need more details.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:05PM
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I saw this tutorial a few months ago that shows how to do the insert pieces on a lone star without having to do Y seams.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nancy Zieman star tutorial

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:12PM
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I found this pic of a lonestar and they used scraps for a thin border - maybe your scraps would work for that

Here is a link that might be useful: lone star

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:25PM
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I like that border! What a great way to finish the quilt.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:49AM
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