by the GAAQG Quilt Study Group
Get those quilted treasures out of the attic
and make them useful in our modern lives!
View this gallery to see 'upcycling' at its finest!
Quilt makers were first attracted to quilts when we admired
a vintage or antique quilt from a family member.
Old quilts come to us through inheritance,
purchases at estate sales and markets, and as gifts from friends
who respect our passion for the workmanship of quilters from bygone times.
Lucinda Herring, one of the Quilt Study Group leaders,
describes quilt rescue as “Making a quilt that is new and useful
from something old and shabby.”
This exhibit features rescued quilts that were “reborn” and put to good use.
Oil stained, long abandoned, incomplete, often far from perfectly constructed,
these quilts were rescued from trunks and closets
and now are enjoying new lives as beloved family quilts.
What kind of quilt do you make for someone who is color blind? A blue and red one! The center block and 6 of the Crazy Anne blocks that surround the center were $7 estate sale finds. Three new Crazy Anne blocks were added to the 6.
The 9 patches used to make the outer border were an extreme rescue from a quilt purchased for $5. The quilt was soiled and greasy, since it had been used to cover a car engine. After separating the top from the back and batting, it was soaked in a bath tub with Oxy Clean until the rinse water ran almost clear. Many 9 patches and portions of 9 patches were salvaged to place in the outer border, with the addition of flying geese segments. The quilt’s back includes leftover blue and red scraps, in a double row of on point 4 patches with a blue and red scrappy strip on each side of the 4 patches.
This quilt’s center square with narrow bands of vintage scraps of color originated as 5” 9-patches set on point on a drab yellow background that was dirty and worn. After the quilt was deconstructed, the blocks were rearranged and bordered with white in a design inspired by a pattern, that had been inspired by a vintage quilt seen on-line. Lots of swirls and petals of quilting stabilize the fragile fabrics. A bright yellow binding is reminiscent of the original quilt’s yellow setting fabric.
This strippy row quilt was purchased for $10 in 2018. Many of the fabrics were thin and faded, mostly consisting of blues and shirtings from the 1920s. The strips were deconstructed and the most fragile or worn sections discarded. Then the pieced strips were used to cut half square triangles, which were sewed to white triangles cut from the former quilt back. The sections of strips with red in them were kept primarily in the third row from the center. The back of the finished quilt includes a row of squares on point made from 24 of the leftover half square triangles.
This scrappy, $15, estate sale find had a weird shape, with a border that was more aptly called a zig-zaggy ruffle. Daughter Katie, who fell in love with the original, took the lead in the redesign process. The result has similarities to the original, but has gone from a weird to an unconventional shape.
Katie liked the “ruffle” of the original, and realized a similar effect could be achieved if the redesigned quilt became a large hexagon composed of the many hexies. Blocks were repositioned from the original, forming one huge hexagon, which was appliqued to a new red border. The new red edge is 324 “ of zig-zag border. At its widest point the quilt is 95”.
This quilt was inspired by a quilt in the book “Twisted,” by Mary W. Kerr. Red hexies were appliqued to the center of seven of the left over hexie blocks from the original circus quilt. Then these blocks were trimmed to make circles and were appliqued to a yellow background. Tumbling blocks were quilted into the negative space to the left of the circus balls. The quilt now hangs in grandson Charlie’s nursery.
Thirty 9-patch blocks made from 80s fabrics were an estate sale $8 purchase. Several of these blocks were made by Ina May, who was a member of GAAQG years ago, and others in the bundle had the names of their makers pinned to them. According to another guild member, these blocks were from a Block Lotto group.
A star block made from 80s fabrics became a focal point to arrange sliced and reconstructed 9-patches. Some muslin squares were added and the new construction was sliced again, sewn, and the segments rearranged around the star. Yellow, the only color in the star that was not a part of the other blocks, became the color of the binding. Leftover blocks from the original lotto became a center strip down the back.
The original fan block quilt cost $15. The quilt’s setting of traditional fan blocks was boring and the green-colored sashing unappealing. Once the quilt was deconstructed, daughter Katie and her friend, Sarah, positioned the blocks in a pattern that winds your eyes around, similar to a Drunkard’s Path block. The new arrangement was one block short. The final block was made with bits of fabric borrowed from a few of the fans, remnants from Katie’s childhood dresses, and a few bits of fabric left over from Chas’s Blue Rescue. The winding path of the blocks and irregular fans inspired the quilt’s new name.
A few estate sale quilt discoveries, at a cost of a few dollars, supplied the blocks for this quilt. The original quilts were damaged and had awful batting. Following a long session with a small rotary cutter, the salvaged blocks, less some that were too light or dark, or not a good match for this project, were rearranged. Since the colors of the blocks resembled those of Lake Superior beach glass, the quilt’s name was born. Sashing and border fabric from the original quilts became 73 9-patches. The gift of four yards of vintage depression glass green fabric was used in the making of 84 flying geese strips and 160 half square triangles for the outer border. A lucky quilt shop find of another 3 yards of compatible green fabric became the setting triangles for the outer on-point 9-patches. The lighter sashing is an 1800s reproduction fabric.
When friends know you rescue quilts gone astray, they bring you wonky, puckery gifts. This gift had potential. Converting wonk to wonderful, took vision and perseverance. The original quilt had a wealth of blocks made with fabrics ranging in age from the late 1800s to 1920s, mourning prints, double pinks, and some homespun. They were assembled in a “make-it-fit” manner and quilted to a holey flannel with tiny stitches. Luckily, although there were some stains and some fabrics had bleed, the quilt wasn’t stinky or too dirty. After deconstruction, 103 blocks, ranging in size from a 5 ¼” to 7 ½,” were ready for the redesign. The blocks were sorted by size and organized into groups. Like blocks were grouped together in a square and all of the other blocks lined up along two sides. A vintage tan and white fine check estate sale find made borders for the rows aligned along a focal corner.