May 16, 2013

Vintage Quilt Tops

Many people tell me they have quilt tops stuffed in an old chest, or box in the attic, or hidden in a cabinet.  These forgotten quilt tops are beautiful in their own right, yet many have issues.  They may not lie flat, there may be stains, and since most have been hand pieced, the stitches are coming apart.
These heirlooms handed down from 
grandmothers, great aunts, or whomever,
 need to be reconsidered and proudly displayed. 
The next few photos show a double wedding ring quilt top with stains, seams that have opened and a bit too much fullness for my liking...but with a tuck here and there and permission to do so from the owner...this heirloom is now on display.
 I 'stay stitched' around the entire quilt to ensure the hand pieced seams would not pop when loaded onto my longarm
 There was quite a bit of fullness in this quilt and i was able to tuck some of that fullness in behind other pieces of fabric
 some mending to do
 Here is the quilt top after it was quilted.  I had to pick a loose open quilt design on this particular quilt due to all the fullness in the top.  
The next pictures are of other vintage quilts, quilted by moi... and are now proudly displayed by their inheritors.  
The picture below shows a loose quilting design around each Sunbonnet Sue.  I normally would quilt a bit heavier and not have so much 'unquilted' space...but again, fullness dictates, and one does not want tucks and pleats visible if at all possible.  
 A view of the back
Beautiful simple appliqued top 

This grand lady is one of three quilt blocks now ready to be framed.
Cross stitched sampler
This double wedding ring quilt top had less fullness than the previous one which allowed a tighter quilting design.

Some quilts, due to budget limits, may be a candidate for a repetitive design called a Pantograph.  

So what do you say? 
 Is it time to take another look through the boxes in the attic, old chests and cabinet drawers?
I must add however, there are some vintage quilt tops that truly can not be revived due to condition.  However, if you would like me to take a look and give you an opinion, i'd be happy to do so.  
You may contact me here:
(note:  I am not an official antique quilt restoration expert,
 just a quilter inspired by the past)


  1. Wonderful work Karen! What beauties, they have been quilted so they can be used & loved as I'm sure was originally intended. I like to think we have come along way in solving the 'wavy wonders'.......but alas there are still quilters learning that measuring really does give you a love finished quilt & a happy quilter!

  2. These are amazing! You are so talented. That seems like such an understatement! I think you are a brilliant quilter! Thanks for sharing those!

    Cheery wave from

  3. Your clients must be absolutely thrilled to have their heirloom quilts finished and usable! Awesome job on the fixes, too!....that is never easy! These are so beautiful now! Well done!

  4. What a nice job. The quilts look great now!

  5. Hi, I love the way you quilted the DWR, both ways are lovely, but the intensive one is just a dream. I finished my DWR quilttop today, not sure how to quilt it, a simple patern or intensive... I mentioned your blog as an inspiration for other quilters too.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...