I may be considered a woman of many talents, but the truth is, there are some things that are beyond my skill set. Like pancakes. And vintage quilt restoration.
For years, I’ve attempted to repair a quilt that came with my husband – it was his self described “Linus blanket”. His Grandmother Calvert had made it and it had come to college with him. No matter the temperature, he slept with that quilt until the day it just became too shredded and delicate to be used. By this point, his Calvert grandparents had lost just about everything in a tornado, so I knew that that beloved quilt was all he had of them. Fixing it was the only option, but I sew, I don’t quilt. There’s a difference.I’m a bit of a loosey goosey seamstress. This should surprise no one that knows me, as I’m pretty loosey goosey with everything. As it turns out, that approach is not the correct one for repairing an old quilt. I had spent weeks ripping the quilt apart and then after a hiatus, determined the sizes and quantities of the fabric pieces I’d need to repair it with. Not only had I laid out the new pieces, I had started sewing some of them in. That’s when I knew I was totally in over my head. There was no stumbling through that. The quilt went back into a pile, where it sat for even more years…
And so, when I found out my husband’s cousin’s wife Cynthia not only repaired quilts, but had repaired MawMaw quilts, I packed it up and shipped it her way. I included all the precut pieces pinned in, extra fabrics and the original backings just in case, new backing fabric and bias tape. She got the more challenging task of putting it all together – and she did a fantastic job.
Included in the quilt are scraps from a purple linen dress I made Edie for the first day of third grade, a red corduroy that came from Pat’s Grandma Kilgo’s stash that he recognized as a scrap of a blanket she made him as a little boy and a pink & purple plaid polyester, also from Grandma Kilgo’s stash that reminded me of shorts my own Granny wore.
The finished quilt came in the mail the other day and was on our bed within minutes of the box being opened. The enclosed note from Cynthia said that the quilt didn’t square up, so she had to fudge a few things – which might be my strong point, but I’m so glad to have had a more experienced quilter tackle that. I love the thread and quilting stitch she went with – it suits the quilt perfectly.
Pat is unspeakably grateful (his words!) to have his blanket back. And I am unspeakably grateful to have found someone to outsource that repair to. Thank you for salvaging a family heirloom Cynthia.