Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Repair a Vintage Quilt

     Another thing I found while straightening up the studio was this beautiful old quilt. 

 It is a hard to find Baby Blocks pattern; hard to find because it is hard to make.  It was all hand pieced and hand quilted.  But it did have two pieces that were "blown out"--the fabric had worn away to expose the batting inside.  Because both blow-outs were of the same fabric I know that those scraps of fabric were probably just too worn out to begin with when it was made. The quilt looks like it was made from someone's scrap collection from old dresses and shirts, etc.  It is a wonderful scrap quilt like you never see anymore because now people just go out and buy yardage. I love the old ones that were made because nothing was ever wasted--not even the tiniest fabric scrap. 

To replace a bad patch you need to make a rough drawing by tracing around 
the patch you are replacing.

Then cut out that paper, leaving an ample seam allowance,
to make a template for a new piece of replacement fabric.

Then cut away the old fabric that you are replacing
so that it doesn't lump up underneath your new patch.

 Find a replacement scrap of fabric of roughly the same age 
and the same "look" as those in your quilt.

Begin carefully stitching the replacement patch in place
using a small hidden-underneath stitch.  Take it slowly,
one edge at a time, with patience.

 When you are done it should look identical to the other pieces.

Then hand quilt 1/4 inch around the inside of the block
just like the other blocks.  Now you could never even
guess that a block had been repaired.  I did this with pink 
calico on the other damaged piece.

The finished repairs blend in perfectly!

Now this beauty is going to auction on Ebay.
I will hate to see it go.  But how many quilts do I need?
I already have quite a collection that I am thankful for.

     I once repaired a very badly damaged quilt for a woman who inherited it from her maternal grandmother.  She was so delighted with the finished product that she used that old quilt as the "Chuppa" in her traditional Jewish wedding.  It was a beautiful sight.


  1. Hi Linda - I recently "found" your blog and have enjoyed reading! Thanks for sharing this blog post about repairing an older quilt. I have a crazy quilt made by my MIL out of worn clothing and it needs some repairs. I also have a bag full of vintage fabric scraps that was also my MIL and I may be able to find the replacement fabric I need. Thank you! Shirley in Washington

    1. You are welcome! Crazy quilts are very valuable. Especially if they have lots of silks and embroidery. I would love to see photos of it when you are done.