Monday, September 24, 2012

Rescuing an Old Loved Quilt…

Club House Quilter, Kim, has had a very busy summer!  She got roped into finishing off a quilt top that her friend’s grandma had made back in the 1960s.  Kim took one look at Grandma’s quilt top and there was no turning back!

Kim got busy and added batting and a backing, then quilted this double size quilt before finishing it off with brown binding…DONE after spending over 50 YEARS as a UFO!!.   DSCN2567 (1) 

Now Kim’s friend has a lovely quilt made by grandma that will be treasured for many, many years to come!  Way to go, Kim!! Nice job!

DSCN2563Recently I was left wondering when does one draw the line and say it’s time to put an old beloved quilt ‘down’? 

A neighbour heard that I was a quilter who loved old quilts. (YIKES!!  I’m like the Cat Woman of the neighbourhood!!)  Anyway…she had her husband drop off a bag.  Inside was a quilt and a  note saying she hoped I could do something with this old quilt made by her maternal grandmother…If not, then do away with her!!  (Oh sure make ME the heavy!!) 

(excuse the streak of light hitting the quilt)P1200055

Well the quilt was stunning…


BUT it was faded, worn and tattered and had definitely seen better days.


  At first I thought maybe I could salvage a small corner and turn it into a keepsake pillow for my neighbour… but there just wasn’t a big enough square without a hole or a frayed section!  I think it was time to put grandma’s quilt ‘down’!


I figured the quilt was made between 1930-40s and at one time it was magnificent…heck if you could look beyond the holes she was still magnificent!


I love the soft colours in this quilt…these are the exact same fabrics that they are trying to reproduce now a days…and I have to toss it out!!  Put her down…pull the plug…send her off to Quilt Heaven!!


NOOOOoooooooo!  I can’t do it! 

It was hand pieced and hand quilted with little itty bitty stitches and was obviously well loved at one time!   I’ll be darned, I just couldn’t put her down!!  There was NO WAY!


So the solution to my problem hangs in the balance…sort of…if you get my gist…


So I hung her up on the ladder…beside my other oldie (but goodie)…and I’ll be darned if she doesn’t make me happy!


I LOVE looking at this quilt!  I have folded her in such a way that only a few fray marks are showing…and she looks content up there hanging with the others!  Heck when the sun hits her, she looks darn right HAPPY!


Just look at those fabrics…and those well earned wrinkles!  I should look that good at her age!


Yes, she will soldier on…


Yup, grandma’s quilt has found a home!  I like her…I like her a lot!  She’s staying!  Keep those cotton pickin’ hands off Grandma’s quilt!

What about YOU?  What would YOU have done with Grandma’s Quilt?  Have you ever been faced with the dilemma of putting a quilt ‘down’ …or did you rescuing it? 

Have a magnificent  Monday and Happy Quilting!~P


  1. Congratulations Paulette, she is definitely a keeper!

  2. Oh, i was getting so worried as i read....hoping, hoping she didn't go to quilt glad she found a nice retirement home!

  3. I would just put on a backing and leave it as is. It is a shame that it had so much damage.


  4. I would have done the same thing! I am amazed how people will take an old quilt that is beyond repair and try to sell it. I did rescue 2 quilts this weekend, bought both for $5. They were both stained on the back, one came pretty clean and the other still has a lot of stains, but you can't see them when they are folded on my quilt rack. My husband says they are ugly, but I love them.

  5. Lovely, Paulette - and the quilt is nice too.

  6. Awww, I hope my quilts end up with someone as wonderful as you! I love how you appreciate the work that went into this quilt. It is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Cheery wave from

  7. A friend of mine has a piece of an old quilt, frayed & all 'n she framed it! In an old shabby frame, behind glass. I also have the last last wool quilt my grandma made that is really poorly done as she was getting very forgetful of all things she had known well in the past. (she made wool quilts out of my Uncles Pendleton shirts) I am going to cut it up, so good places show and frame it the same way :) it will make good keepsake pieces for the family.

  8. I love that 50yo UFO, lol, well done on finishing it up. I also love the quilt you rescued - yes, I would have kept it as well - holes and all.

  9. No, I couldn't put her down either.
    Gosh I was born in the early 40's...she from my era. Love her as she is, she has had a life, she has been loved...that's what we wish for ourselves..
    Julia ♥

  10. Sweet P's No Kill Shelter for Quilts! I'm so glad you saved her. And that UFO is awesome!!! I would love to have something like that in my family.

  11. Lucky you AND GOOD FOR YOU FOR RECOGNIZING A GEM! I have a mothers flower garden hexagon quilt on my bed as fadesd and torn wherer the fabric gave on some hexagons. To make it worse someone cut off and stitched around the external border. I thought about adding a binding but it isnt fraying. I use it as a summer quilt as it only had a very thin blanket or sheet for batting. Its shabby sheikh! And the hand quilting is tremendous!

  12. I also have my grandmother's quilt to fix. She also has holes and is tattered alittle. My grandmother is in the nursing home and she is nintynine. She will be 100 on April 17. She has always had a heart of gold. I was tinking of replacing some of the triangles will new fabric and putting a new binding but am alittle scared. Some day I will take it out and figure what to do with it. I might just do the same and hang it in with my other special quilts.

  13. Good solution, Paulette! You always have just the right answer for things. I took a photo of a quilt we saw yesterday, and Donna posted it on her blog for you. Rick might even like that one.

  14. Oh boy, that was scary reading for a bit, I'm glad you finished that in one blog post! I would have been up all night waiting for the conclusion. Glad she has a great home! If only she could talk, I bet she has some stories to tell!

  15. Like the neighborhood cat lady...that is soooooo funny! Made me LOL!
    Those quilts are gorgeous. Keepers for sure. Old quilts are just so much more snuggly. :)

  16. I have a similar UFO story. Earlier this spring a friend came to me with some large blocks that her grandmother had made years ago and her mother has held onto for years. Lovely yellow background with baskets and tulips appliqued on, and embroidered flower stems. I pieced them all together and then had her take the pieced top to a talented quilter I know to have it all quilted together. Turned out wonderful and just in the nick of time for her mother's 80th birthday celebration and family re-union!
    I don't blame you for not wanting to "put down" that old quilt. The colours are still beautiful.
    Sharon in Victoria

  17. That quilt serves as a metaphor for life. We all are (or will be) frayed around the edges, wrinkled, and full of blemishes and scars. Yet we soldier on and hopefully we still make at least one person happy just by hanging around. Good save.

  18. Gramma is smiling too! You made the right choice P. =)

  19. There is no such thing as putting a quilt down. I can't imagine it. I have been faced with this problem before, a case of a hole in a double wedding. I know what I will do. applique by hand the repairs and a new binding, but I'm not quite sure my skills are up to part yet.

    Another has a couple of rips, that one I will scan the block and sent it to a fabric printing company, then applique the new squares over the old ones.

  20. So glad you found the perfect way to keep, and make the most of that beautiful quilt. Putting down any Grandma's quilt is like putting down Granny herself! Ouch.

  21. You found the perfect place for a perfect quilt .... grandma is happy!