Thursday, October 23, 2008

At a loss...







I recently went to a large flea market antique show and I saw this quilt top and I was instantly drawn to the colors.
After talking with the seller, it turns out that the topper was made many , many years ago by a German woman . Though the seller said the fabrics are German, they actually look Dutch to me but that did not matter because I liked the blue.
Once home I was able to really look at it and though some of the blocks did not appeal to me, nor the layout, I was going to leave it as is for the sake of preservation.
Determined to clean this topper up, I was going to hand wash it but decided against it because of the sheer size of it. It is King size!
So , I washed it in the delicate cycle . Not a good move.
Some of the blocks have come apart , actually they look like they ripped apart.
My husband says that the quilt top may have dry rotted and of course washing it made it worse.
Anyway, I really have no idea what to do.
I only like the blue dutch looking blocks and the soft flowers. The other blocks are made of some coarse fabric .
The sashing blue I do like very much, but after pressing it, I realized that the sashing is actually a bed sheet.
So, unless I get better advise from my blog friends, I will take out the blocks I do like, purchase better quality blue fabric, maybe some red since there is some red in those blocks and come up with something else.
Ideas and suggestions are welcome.

11 comments:

The Quilting Pirate said...

Oh dear, I would have suggested putting it into a tub with a special quilt soak soap to wash it ...never a machine.

I think you idea of taking it apart makes the most sense. It will be hard to match the blue, but look at Marcus Brothers' vintage solids, you might get lucky.

What a great find!

Kathie said...

well if it were me , I would take it apart and make it a quilt I want to use and display
sorry this happened to you...guess you learned the hard way you
never wash an antique quilt in the machine in mho!
keep us posted would love to see it when your done.

Stephanie said...

Some lovely colors in there. I'd see if Eileen (Eileen's Attic) has any suggestions. She's done lots of unpicking and reconstructing of old quilts in need of tender loving care. I think I'd take apart the blocks and fabrics I like and make something smaller for yourself.

Eileen said...

I love all the fabrics in that quilt.. and I wouldn't throw any of it away, even the heavier stuff or the blue sheet. But that's just me. I like to try and use up every bit of everything. These pictures were taken before the washing.. right? If there are any of the blocks that a salvagable, I would take off the blue and reset the ones I liked. And I'd save all the scraps for something else. You could even make a lot of small projects out of that much fabric.
I'm sure whatever you decide to do will be cute.

kjquilts said...

Sounds like a great plan to me! I can't wait to see it finished. Thanks for commenting on my blog. Come back and visit soon!

Debbie said...

that too bad.... whenever I quilt an older top - I wash it after I have quilted it.... seems to work out...it's a great quilt, tho...

em's scrapbag said...

I would take the pieces you like and make something you will be happy with.

Melanie said...

Oh dear what a shame. Eileen's Attic is a good site for hints at what can be done through unpicking and re-setting. Perhaps you could re-make the blocks but smaller then give them a border to bring them back to their original size? At least that way, as much as possible of the original design is preserved?

In the Lucy Boston books the grandma replaced just the worn patches in the old quilts with a fabric which is a closest match as possible.

Jean said...

What a find! Even though some of it came apart, I would try to salvage what you can. I don't know if this idea is out there or not, see what you think. If it was me I would worry that even if I made something out of the usable blocks they would fall apart eventually like the others did. What about (this is the idea that may be crazy)taking the usable blocks and ironing a light weight interfacing to the back of them to secure the seams. Then sew them into a quilt. I realize this isn't traditional but might secure them so you could make a new project out of them.

Tine said...

Lucky and unlucky at the same time! I'm sorry it came apart in the wash, I would have put it in the washing machine too, but I guess now I know better too...
I think you should pick out the pieces that you like and make something you will use. Quilts are made to be used, and I am sure, that whoever stitched this will be happier some of it is being used, than if all of it is laying in a closet :-)

Jessica's mom said...

What a bit of disappointment for you. At least this way you can redo it however most pleases you. By all means reset it anyway that makes you happy. At this point it would be a problem to try and fix what is lost, and you weren't thrilled with some of it in the first place.

I can't help but wonder if some of the fabrics would fall in the homespun catagory. Maybe not made by the person who pieced it, but homespun all the same. It has a nice look to it, but I detest working with the stuff. I came across some yardage and used it in a quilt for my daughter and it was pulling apart while I trying to quilt it! I ended up using "fray no more" or some such, it's like washable glue so while it's not the same it was at least the quilt can still be loved on by my daughter.