MCM #85 – A Special Gift

Last week my husband and I took some time to visit his cousin, who lives a couple hours away from us. We had a lovely day for a drive, with the sun bright and the temps  moderate in the low 80’s.

During our visit, Kathy (hubby’s cousin) showed us a quilt she had received from her Aunt. Aunt Jean’s only request when she gave Kathy the quilt was that it stay in the family.

All the piecing was done by hand and it was hand quilted. Aunt Jean isn’t sure exactly who  pieced the quilt but she does know it was made by a family member and it was made around 1935. Kathy had it wrapped in a pillowcase and stored on a shelf in her closet.

The simplicity of the design and the color palette made my heart sing.

Grandmother's Quilt pieced in 1935

The pattern is called Grandmother’s Favorite and is a pattern published in the Kansas City Star in 1932.  The quilt was appraised in 2003, and the appraisal report was kept with the quilt. It provides a lot of information that we normally wouldn’t have.

There is some staining on the quilt, and I tried to get a close-up picture. There is also some yellowing where the quilt was folded and tucked away. The yellowing is mostly down the middle of the quilt and it shows in the above photo.

Grandmothers Favortie Quilt

The hand quilting is exquisite. I could just study it for hours.

Hand Quilting detail

The maker did not put a label on the quilt, but Aunt Jean did when she received it. I am not good at labeling my quilts, and my best friend is always griping at me about it. Even though I know I should label my quilts, it’s just something I don’t take the time to do. Seeing this quilt gave me a greater appreciation of the importance of labeling. Because who knows – 85 years from now someone might want to know the origin of a quilt made by me!

So lesson learned, and I’m going to share it with you. Label your quilts, people! 🙂

Quilt Label

The binding is shredded pretty much around the entire quilt (see above). I want to put a new binding on and am thinking about leaving the original binding and just putting the new one over top of it. If you have repaired or restored old quilts before, I would appreciate your input.

Oh, I forgot to mention the best part! When hubby and I got ready to leave Kathy’s house, she handed me the quilt. She told me she isn’t into quilting, neither are her sisters, and she knows I would appreciate and love the quilt the way it should be loved. And it would still be in the family. I was so moved and I feel so blessed to have this piece of family history.

So this beautiful quilt is my crush for this weeks Main Crush Monday, and I think it’s a great crush. What do you think?

Now it’s time for you to link up your crush! I’d love to see what projects you are working on. You can link 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"!!
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26 Responses to MCM #85 – A Special Gift

  1. Carolyn Sands says:

    Lovely quilt! I found a product on Amazon called Retro Clean. I soaked an antique lace table cloth that had stains the color of coffee. I soaked it in a plastic storage tub in the sun. I kept rotating it so that the stains were on the surface and received direct sunlight. Directions say you can soak an article for 24 – 48 hours. After a day, the stains were gone. It was amazing and didn’t damage the tablecloth. Three things to note – make sure you buy the soak product and not the detergent, it works best when exposed to sunlight and the water needs to be warm. Good luck.

  2. SarahZ says:

    Such a treasure! I can only imagine the joy it continues to bring you! How thoughful and generous of Kathy!

  3. Kate says:

    What a wonderful gift!

  4. Laura Piland says:

    What an amazing gift! Such a treasure!

  5. Lovely quilt and a lovely family story woven around it. I completely agree with you about labelling quilts. I’m trying to get in the habit of making and attaching a label to the backing before I make the quilt sandwich then it gets quilted into the quilt and isn’t left to the end! You could contact Carol at ‘From My Carolina Home’, I’m she has blogged about repairing vintage quilts ☺

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  7. What a wonderful story and a beautiful gift! Love these vintage two color quilts, perfect!

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  9. Tish says:

    Beth, this quilt is beautiful! How very cool for them to share it with you and you with us. I’ve never labeled my quilts, but I know I should. This is a wonderful reminder as to why.

  10. Kathleen McCormick says:

    Oh, and about washing. I have done that too. I use the vintage soak or orvus quilters soap and that is pretty helpful. I soak it. You can put it in a washing machine and just let it soak or the tub works too, just no agitation. Spinning is okay. Now top loaders are notoriously stingy on water, so I don’t think they work at all for washing, using the tub is your only option.

  11. Kathleen McCormick says:

    What a fun gift! I have repaired two quilts and did what needed to be done to keep them useful and in the family. I did cut off the binding and add new. It just made it much less bulky. You should do what your heart tells you.

  12. Alycia C says:

    I think that is a fabulous crush!!! what a beautiful pattern!

  13. Sylvia says:

    How wonderful of Kathy to give you such a beautiful family heirloom! It is a lovely quilt, made with love.

  14. Wow, it’s so beautiful! I would have never guessed that yellow and white could make such a striking pattern. And it looks very modern, too. What a lovely piece of your family’s history.

    I think I would put a new binding right over the top of the old, trying to match the color as closely as possible. I’ve had success washing antique quilts in Dawn dishwashing detergent, which doesn’t make the colors bleed. I learned that from Tim Latimer of, who has restored many, many quilts.

  15. What an awesome gift, Beth! How fantastic to receive soemething with so much history and family connection. I know you will appreciate it just as much as they had hoped.

  16. Gina says:

    Such a lovely gift to keep in the family. I’m guilty of not labelling my quilts too. I do label for gifts as I include washing instructions on it. My own quilts though are bare

  17. What a lovely quilt, Beth! Such a treasure. Like you, I’m not very good at labeling my quilts, but I should. Enjoy your quilt!

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  19. Jayne says:

    The block design in this quilt if wonderful! It reminds me of a Churn Dash but with a twist! It’s just gorgeous and all that hand quilting is amazing. I would be studying it too!

  20. karenfae says:

    as far as restoring the quilt goes some would say leave as is and others would say go for it. I repaired an old quilt two times now one that had holes in it and I put applique pieces and scrap patchwork over them with fabric that I had tea dyed and one that had bad binding and I put binding over the top of the old one. Both times I made very sure that the person knew that what I was doing was taking value away from the quilt but they insisted they wanted it fixed so it could be put out for people to look at it and not worry about it falling apart that they had no intention of selling it. I think it is lovely that your husband’s cousin gave it to you – it needed to be with someone who loved quilts and as she had it in a closet it was best for you to take it.

  21. What a great gift to have a piece of family history like the quilt!

  22. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Beth,
    What a fabulous quilt, and how nice that Kathy shared the quilt with you. It will receive some love and attention that is needed. I think putting a new binding over the old existing one makes sense, but I have no experience in restoring old quilts. The quilting is really nice – I’m sure it makes you smile to look at it. I am terrible about labeling my quilts. Thanks for sharing with us. ~smile~ Roseanne

  23. Cindy says:

    What a fabulous crush! I would keep the original binding in tact and simply apply a new one over top. I would wash it in a bathtub with a mild soap and let it dry flat.

  24. Very pretty quilt! Some would say to leave the binding as is. Some would say to cover it with the original intact. Most would probably say do not remove the original binding. Do you know a quilt appraiser you can talk to? As far as getting the stains out, there must be safe washes to do. Not sure I’d put it in the washing machine as the rubbing action may harm the fibers. Probably the bath tub would be better and squeezing the water and suds through. Which brings up another big question. Which soap to use? I think you have your work cut out for you and when you find out all this, please share it with us on your blog. You are blessed with a piece of history.

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  26. That is a lovely quilt. I agree with the idea of keeping the old binding and apply a new one over it. Hopefully some of your readers will have some more good ideas. You definitely need to label your quilts.

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