My mother dropped by and commented on yesterday’s post, saying:
I don’t know if I ever shared with you, but your maternal great-grandmother used to piece just such HST quilts. She was, first, a really talented sewer and made me a bunch of gathered skirts in 6th grade and also an exquisite collection of doll clothes for my Madame Alexander 8″ dolls. The tiniest buttons, the itsy-bitsy-est lace trims, and all sewn by hand.
I actually had never known that, but it suddenly reminded me of this:
This is the quilt my great-grandmother made for my mother when she went away to college, which I asked to take with me when I went away to (the same) college. My mother was hesitant, and at the time, I’m not sure I really understood why. I see it in a much different light now.
Made of scraps and entirely quilted by hand, this is really a lovely treasure from a grandmother to her oldest grandchild when moving on to a life of her own, and it was a bigger sacrifice than I knew when my mom passed it on to me.
But this quilt is now (don’t tell my mom I told you this) at least 44 years old, and it’s had a lot of love and wear:
So my question is, how can I rejuvenate it, without taking it apart? I mean, a lot of these pieces are really worn out, probably far beyond a simple repair. I’ve found a couple good sites on quilt restoration, but I’m not quite sure where to begin–between the demise of some of the original fabrics and the sad attempts I made to patch those weak spots in my early 20s, I would prefer to approach this a single time, and get it right.
I mean, look at all those quarter-square triangles. The woman was amazing, and I’d love to preserve this quilt. Or is it time to call it and break this large quilt apart into smaller pieces for other purposes, preserving my great-grandmother’s work in a new way? I’d really love to hear your suggestions–you guys always have the best ideas!
Edited to add:
Mom just sent me an email and updated the story:
[This quilt] was actually made by [my] OTHER grandmother…with the HSTs from Grandmom. She made them for all the grandchildren as they graduated from high school.
I actually hated the pink/green, although, ironically, my freshman college roommate wanted to use the same color scheme for our room in [the dorm]. Horrified, I allowed her to bring pink chenille bedspreads for our room. I think I made some crayon green curtains. YUCK!