Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A friends quilt - 18 years in the making!

   Recently a dear sweet elderly friend called and asked me to stop by because she had something she wanted me to have. Turns out it was a quilt top that her sister (deceased)  had started hand piecing some 18 or so years ago.  She thought maybe I would like to have it as she no longer sews herself. She already has finished quilts that her sister had made in years past. She also gifted me a bag of her sisters scraps.

The quilt is an X's & O's or Hugs and Kisses quilt. Her sister had been foundation piecing it on newspapers, back when Spaghetti sauce was .88 cents a jar and at least the year 2000. 

I was so excited and really felt honored that she would gift me this treasure! 
 Some of the fabrics seem more vintage than others. SWOON! 

When I started examining the quilt, I found the exact spot where her sister had left off , needle and thread in place ready to stitch.

The needle was hard to pull out and a little rusty, so I switched it out and finished that seam with her thread which was still strong.

  I then ironed and laid out the top and dug through her scrap bag and found 2 more ROWS already pieced! Yippee!! 
 I also found a few spots where the seams were coming apart. I decided to sew the last 2 rows on by machine. I hesitated to do this since the quilt was by hand. Her sister suggested if I finish it, to do so by machine though. 

 I do not know how to restore a quilt. I decided to remove the newspapers ( a very large box full)and repair some of the seams.

When I first saw the quilt, I decided I wanted to hand tie it. But now after finding several seam problems, I feel it may be better to do some heavy machine quilting, especially before I give it a much needed wash. What do you think? Any suggestions? I am not a hand quilter. Should I do straight lines through the intersections or meandering or stipple quilting? 

  I am amazed. The quilt measures 62x71. These are 9 inch finished blocks in a 7x8 layout which should measure 63x72.  Pretty darn good for hand piecing without any marked seams! And she didn't trim down the blocks before joining either. 
 I thought about adding a border. Would you? If so what type of fabric? A solid or a print? Vintage or Modern? The quilt with its bright happy colors feels so Modern to me. If I add a border it will fit a full size bed. I wish I knew what she had planned. I did find 3 pieces of newspaper cut to 9 1/2" so I am not sure if she cut too many foundation squares or if this is as far as she got with her piecing. She may have run out of some of the fabrics.  There are only a couple of the scraps that match the fabrics in the quilt. There are no more of the solids. Was she stopping after the last 2 rows? I wish I knew her plans. 
  I can't wait to finish this gorgeous quilt. Would this be a quilt that I would have made myself? Probably not. Will it win any awards or ribbons? No. Does it make my heart sing? YES!!YES!! and YES!!  I can't wait to get it finished and add a label! And I can't wait to show it to her sister! 
Let me know what you think!
Thank you for stopping by dear friends!
Welcome to my new friends and followers!
Happy Stitching!
xo Jan