MCM #39 – A Vintage Quilt

Happy Monday everyone! First let me say, THANK YOU for all your sweet and supportive comments about Anthony and his diploma. You guys are the best!

We had a fantastic linky party last week. I hope you were able to visit a lot of the link-ups. There is so much inspiration to read about and a ton of eye candy. It seems that September is when everyone really kicks it in gear. School starts again, the holidays are right around the corner, new fabric is released, and our creative juices start to work overtime.

I made it back from my trip to Cleveland. I had a nice visit with my mother-in-law, and my brother/sister-in-law got to take a much needed vacation.ย ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

My crush this week centers around this great vintage quilt top my m-i-l gave me during my visit:

Vintage QuiltIsn’t it fantastic?? This top was pieced by my husband’s grandmother. I love that it is a scrap quilt, yet still has a distinct design. My husband thinks this piece is at least 60 years old. It has held up well and I’m so honoredย  this was passed on to us.

Vintage Quilt close-upI love so many of the fabrics used, and the way she alternated prints with solids. Many of the seams are hand stitched and others are done using a treadle machine.

Hand Stitched Vintage QuiltThere are a few stains….

Stained Vintage Quilt

…..and a seam that has come apart….

Seam rippedI’m sure I can fix the seam, but I’m not so sure about the stains. We’ll see….

My job is to finish this beauty and turn it into a usable quilt. I hope I can do it justice.

My plan for now is to not add any more piecing; I want to keep the top as Grandma Sellers left it. However, I’m not sure how to treat the edges. I can either trim the sides to be even, which makes my heart hurt just thinking about, or add in half triangles to save the outer row she sewed. Or I could just do a bunch of bias binding around all those points. That makes my head hurt! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have any suggestions? Also, for all you quilters out there that have worked with older quilts, is there anything I should be aware of or watch for? I definitely don’t want to ruin any of the fabrics, so if you have any tips I would appreciate hearing them.

While taking pictures of the top it hit me that this should really be hand quilted and not just zipped through my machine. Uh-oh. You all know me and hand quilting. Tried it once and couldn’t do it.

With this piece though, I might be willing to try again….but first I just need to give it a good pressing and see where I need to start.

So that’s my crush for this week. Another project added to my ever growing list! I managed to get more hexies made while away; I’ll share them with you in another post as this one is so long already.

Now it’s time to see your crushes for this week. But first, a recap of some of last week’s posts:

Did you see Dave The Quilt Engineer’s version of the Snowflake Shimmer quilt? I love that he chose strong primary colors and I’ll be watching to see how he decides to quilt it.

Photo by Dave of The Quilt Engineer

Photo by Dave of The Quilt Engineer


I really like Sandra’s rounded edge bag she made using laminated Kona. Mind blown! I didn’t even know there was Kona laminated fabric. (I found it online at – you know, just in case you have to have some. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I’m an enabler…) Read more about her bag on her blog Musings of a Menopausal Melon.

Photo by Sandra of MMM Quilts

Photo by Sandra of MMM Quilts


Did you see the borders Karen made for her postage stamp quilt? They are so different and I really enjoyed seeing these. Check them out on her blog Quilts…..Etc.

Photo by Karen of Quilts...Etc.

Photo by Karen of Quilts…Etc.


Now it’s your turn to share your quilty goodness! Show off your projects, new fabric, new tools, or anything that has you excited to be in your sewing space. You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
This entry was posted in Main Crush Monday, Vintage Quilt and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to MCM #39 – A Vintage Quilt

  1. Tracy says:

    Wow ~ what a treasure!! I have one of my sister in law’s quilt tops that was pieced by her mom with fabrics from clothes she’d made the girls when they were kids. I pull it out every once in awhile and mull over how to turn it into a useful quilt for her. Someday, inspiration will strike and actually do that ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think you should quilt it however you want. If you decide to hand quilt though, I highly recommend bamboo batting – it acts very much like Warm and White, so it would crinkle nicely, but the needle pulls through soooo much nicer. I have a quilt about 1/2 quilted (mix of machine and hand) that’s from my pre-bamboo or wool for hand-quilting days, and I am seriously considering ripping out all of my work so I can replace the batting with something more hand quilting friendly.

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  3. Alycia says:

    What a beautiful top! There are some articles on vicki welshs blog about getting stains out, and Jeananne Wright has some great tips too ( google her) Hope you enjoy finishing it

  4. Susan says:

    Lovely quilt to work on! I’d try to keep the edge squares intact and add either hst’s or rectangles for a border. Plus, adding a border will help lessen the tug and pull that the old fabrics would get along the edge.

  5. Bonnie in Va says:

    I have been asked to do what I can to finish a big collection of antique blocks, a quilt top and even some darling little 9 patches. On the quilt top which was very much not a rectangle and very poorly pieced (think hills and valleys!) The best way I could deal with it was cut the quilt not quite in half. I repaired the problems and then added a Kona cotton to make it more of a rectangle and bring it up to a good lap quilt size. Then I quilted it on my long arm using a Baptist fan pattern. I washed it in quilt soap in a top loading washer and laid it out to dry on a deck. It looked great when finished. The stains did not come out but nobody seemed to mind. I have a lot of work to do on other of the pieces left. There was a lot of fun older fabric left that I’ll probably use to make a miniature quilt for myself once I get farther along on these blocks.

  6. A great quilt top. I would secure the loose seams, machine quilt it, and trim the triangles off. My mom’s first quilt was like that.

  7. Beautiful top, I am in both camps. Machine quilt it if that would get it finished and used or if you wanted to try hand quilting, Baptist fans would look great on the quilt. I think I would finish the quilt before trying to get the stains out, just for the integrity of the seams.

  8. Lisa says:

    It’s a beautiful quilt Beth. Knowing me I’d cut the triangles because I don’t have enough patience for the other two options. My second option would be to add triangles. I love hand quilting and I would like to become good at it but it’s a very slow slow process for me. Maybe you could make it into a slow going in the background project.

  9. It is a beautiful quilt! I used to think that antique quilts needed special quilting until I took a quilt to a long-armer one day and noticed she had a pile of antique quilts she was quilting in basic pantographs. I asked her about this, somewhat critically, and her response was that it was more important that the quilt be finished than quilted in some spectacular custom design. That totally changed my outlook on quilting old quilts! I now do my basic meandering stitch on antique quilts with no guilt. Be free! Your ancestors would just be happy the quilt was finished, no matter how basic (or fancy) it’s done.

  10. Kathi Riemer says:

    Wow, what a special gift. I agree, it should be hand quilted. It will be a great project to develop your hand quilting skills.

  11. Tish says:

    What a beautiful top to be given and I love that there is so much family history to it. I have 0% experience in this department so sorry I can’t offer much help.

  12. What an awesome vintage quilt with history to have to work on. I would be tempted to quilt it (after fixing what needs fixing) and then trim it square afterwards. I know removing a bit of fabric isn’t the most ideal, but that is probably what I would do. Good luck figuring out how you want to proceed.

  13. katyquilts says:

    That vintage top IS a treasure! And I am sure the original maker would love to see it finished. My hubby bought me a vintage top similar to this one a few years ago for Christmas. I machine quilted it and straightened the edges after by trimming off the triangle points. It never would have been finished if I were going to handquilt! Now I am so glad to be able to use it! I think if machine quilting had been more of an option back in the day, we would see a whole lot more machine quilted quilts now!

  14. maxine lesline says:

    Your vintage quilt will surely not be used on a bed… its reason for being seems to be historical .. so if it were an old kimono, the Japanese would likely frame it.. and honor it as it is.

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  16. Vicki in MN says:

    What a treasure you were given. My thoughts are to cut off the edges and machine quilt it. I think the maker would approve of just gettting it done and letting it be admired.

  17. You will have people on all sides of the quilting issue, those who will tell you it can only be hand quilted, and those that will say go ahead and machine quilt it. I am in the second camp, finished and being used is the best way to honor the work already in it. I have done this before, making a quilt from antique blocks (I can send you a link) and you just have to take a breath and cut it where you need to. I had to square up the blocks and add fabric to make the blocks all the same size. I would bet your grandmother intended to square off the points to bind it, so just line up your rotary cutter and cut off those points. Be careful trying to wash it as those old fabrics can run and a color catcher sheet won’t be enough. Test the fabrics with Orvis on a q-tip before you try to remove the stains.

  18. Kate says:

    What a gorgeous antique quilt. Love the colors in it. No advice on how to deal with the edges, but I agree hand quilting would suit it best.

  19. Karen Goad says:

    thanks for the mention today Beth – I have another cluster of the flowers just about finished today – love your vintage quilt!!

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