New Life to an Old Quilt

It happens to every beloved quilt. We love it and use it until it becomes thread bare in places, the binding is rubbed and worn to shreds, the batting seems non-existent in spots and some of the original quilting has disappeared. Most of us do not want to get rid of such quilts. To us they are the most comfortable, cozy, snugly and soothing blankets we own. Perhaps these quilts belonged to or were made by a loved one and hold special memories of that person (My "Froggy Quilt" is one of the first quilts I quilted on my long arm machine. I made it for my mother and when I wrap up in it I can almost feel a hug from her.) or of a special time in our lives. Usually our attachment to these quilts is sentimental which can be a very strong emotional bond. Whatever the reason, separating ourselves from one of our favorite quilts, no matter how worn or ragged they become, can be very difficult. It can be as difficult as trying to tear that one remaining bit-of-blankie away from an attached toddler.

Quilts give us comfort. They can make us feel safe, warm and protected.

In my house we go as far as to prefer certain quilts for specific situations. If any one of us is ill, we want "Grandma's Froggy Quilt" (a Trip Around the World made with frog themed fabrics) to comfort us while we lay on the couch or sleep in our bed and try to recover from whatever ails us. If we've had an unusually stressful day we will want to cuddle up with "Grandmother's Flower Garden" (My aunt began this quilt top and I finished it). When sleep is long over due we'll grab "Blueberry Hill" (a Double Irish Chain with a blueberry print and complimentary fabrics, pieced by a friend and quilted by me!) and drift off to sweet dreams.

Quilts are special to us and we just don't want to let them go. Relax. I have found a way to breathe some new life into old and worn quilts. I DO NOT recommend doing this to antique quilts, heirloom quilts or any other quilts if you are concerned about the monetary value of the quilt. But if you want to salvage your favorite quilt and cuddle under it for years to come, this might be the solution for you and your quilt. Everyone who has had me "revive" their quilt(s) has been very pleased with the results.

I begin by treating the entire original quilt as the new quilt top. There may be a spot or two which need to be repaired or replaced. I prepare new backing for the quilt and add new batting. The quilt is then quilted in an overall pattern. A free hand meandering or wandering pattern works well and allows for reinforcement of any weak area noted on the quilt top. Finally, a new binding is attached to the quilt and voila!, a new quilt is born!!!

I have saved several quilts this way and have more in my "waiting room" to be done. If I can help you save one or more of your quilts, you can post a comment here or e-mail me

Now go to the back of your closet, your mom's closet, your grandma's closet or your friend's closet and find those quilts that were packed away. Bring them out and breathe new life into them!!! Good luck and

Happy Quilting,