Monday, 5 May 2008


I came across this old quilt top eight years ago at a car boot sale in Cambridge. It wasn't for sale - it was on the (muddy) ground covered with shoes and bric-a-brac. The owner seemed very surprised when I expressed an interest in it, and she sold it to me for £2.

The quilt top is huge and it has been beautifully hand made, with the tiniest stitches I have seen. It is made from old cotton prints, including plains, florals, novelty prints and checks. I think it dates from the 1950s or perhaps earlier. It is one of my favourite things that I own. However...

It has been mistreated over the years and has suffered a lot of damage. Although there are no stains or marks, quite a few of the hexagons and some of the side pieces are completely worn through, and others look fragile.

I've carefully stored the quilt top for years, but I would love to bring it back to life in some way. I'd love to hear if anyone has any ideas on what I could do with it? I thought about maybe cutting it up to make some cushions but it seems a shame. What should I do?


Cass said...

Sorry can't give you any ideas on what to do but just wanted to say what a beautiful old quilt and well done for rescuing it

Heather said...

I would have a hard time cutting it up myself...but have you considered finding vintage prints to patch it with? Then use it as a throw on the couch or a chair?

pen said...

if you want to patch it try using japanese boro technique, laying fabric behind or on top and using lots of stitches to hold it all together
apparently this technique whilst very make-and-mend was also used to imbue love and protection into a piece of work- nice

cathy hope said...

the best thing to do is to repair the fragile bits and then either quilt it yourself or have it quilted,
the quilting gives it more strength and will ensure it lives for a long time.