Saving a Quilt with a Past

by Jane Dempsey

When I graduated from high school, my grandmother gave me a hand-pieced quilt. Since Grandma Ann didn’t have the money for new fabric, my mother bought the fabric. My grandma and mom didn’t have a wonderful relationship, so their cooperation with each other was noteworthy. In the past, Grandma made all quilts out of pieces of dresses that had worn out, and my mom knew I would like a pink quilt.


Anyway, I have used the quilt for 40 years and it now has issues that make it unusable, especially at the top and bottom ends that you grab to pull up the covers and get cozy. The quilt has sentimental value to me, but is not museum quality. Patching rather than restoring was in order, so I bought a small pink and white check to use in the repair and for the binding.

On holes like the one above, I used fusible interfacing (sf101) like a Band-Aid to stabilize the batting and the fabric on the side with the hole.

After that, I cut 4 strips the width of the quilt, about 8 inches wide and sewed it to both the inside and outside of quilt top and bottom. Then I pulled it up on both sides of the quilt, sandwiching the top 7 inches of the quilt between the layers. I sewed the “sandwich” at intervals so the old quilt couldn’t move between the added fabrics.

Along the long edges of the quilt, there are small holes about every 4 inches as far in as 1 ½ inches from the edge. I surged off the 1 ½ inches, narrowing the quilt width by 3 inches. I also surged the top and bottom of the quilt, surging off the previous binding in the process.
Then I finished off the quilt by rebinding it using 2 ¼ inch bias strips.

Now I can cuddle up in front of the TV and watch Hallmark movies and remember my mom and grandma, and that they loved me enough to cooperate on a project, without putting my fingers thru a hole when I pull it up or wrap it around my feet.

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9 thoughts on “Saving a Quilt with a Past”

  1. Great save! I may have to consult you. I’ve been making so many new quilts lately, but remembered just last week I have 2 old ones – one from each grandma – that need repairs.

  2. Thank you for sharing. So wonderful to preserve this special quilt. I have a quilt from my Great Grandmother I need to fix.

  3. Good going Jane! That was a really clever “save” and the finished project looks terrific! You’ve given me some great ideas for one in our family (currently at my daughter’s) that could use a similar fix.

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