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I have never quilted ok well I did make a few baby quilts but they were hand tied so they really took no talent


We brought home 3 quilt tops dh grandmother hand pieced

and parts of 2 others hand pieced but not assembled the other grandmother did in the 50's

so would it be horrible If I had someone machine quilt them??? or should I learn to hand quilt. I have a feeling if I do so they will still be unfinished for my grandchild.

And if they are made with cottons from the 50's will new materials work for a back or will there be problems if they are ever washed even with preshrinking the fabric.

Meg
 

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First of all...congratulations!

It all depends on if you are wanting to maintain the integrety of the original quilt and whether you are wanting to keep them as heirlooms to pass down through your family or are going to actually use them for everyday. Sorry, I cringe at the thought of using them since everyday use and just dust alone will destroy a quilt.

Keep in mind that having to pay someone to machine quilt your quilts could run you around $200.00 for each quilt. That's the going rate for machine quilting here for a queen size quilt.

I also have a quilt made by my grandmother and another set of just blocks in which the fabrics used are over 200 years old made by my other grandmother and great aunt.

The Quilting Appraiser that viewed them said to retian their value to either leave them as they are or to complete them using the same methods. She also suggested that I use high quality muslin for the backing and only use high quality cotton batting. She insisted on hand quilting only. My Mom gave each of us girls a few of these blocks along with pictures of my grandmother and great aunt that made them and we are all going to frame them for wall hangings. They have to be framed like a museum would frame their artifacts and kept out of direct sunlight or they will deteriorate. Mine are still in my cedar chest wraped in a white sheet because I can't afford the muslin, batting, and expensive frameing right now but they are on my list of important projects to complete.

You can use the newer fabric for the backing. Just wash it first. Also use cotton batting. The hand quilting can be as simple as quilting in the ditch or 1/4" around the outside edges of all seams. This method will cut down on your sewing and still hold the quilt together. It's how I started out and it was easy. Your stitches do not have to be perfect or concise 10 to 12 stitches per inch. I've seen lovely quilting done with only 6 to 7 stitches per inch.

Never, ever, wash your quilts in a washing machine. It will bunch of the batting and can cause tears and wearing to the quilt. If you must wash them, lightly soak it in your bathtub, press out the water, do not ring it out, then lay flat on a white sheet to dry. Preferably somewhere like a covered porch outside. If your quilt has any dark colors, be very careful because the older fabric colors may fade into the lighter colors.

Don't fret about keeping the quilts as 'works in progress'. I just saw a quilt this week that was completed by 5 generations of the same family and it is a treasure! Maybe one or more of your grandchildren or even greatgrandchildren will enjoy adding their hand to completing one of these quilts. :)

Good luck with your quilts and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 

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First of all...congratulations!

It all depends on if you are wanting to maintain the integrety of the original quilt and whether you are wanting to keep them as heirlooms to pass down through your family or are going to actually use them for everyday. Sorry, I cringe at the thought of using them since everyday use and just dust alone will destroy a quilt.

Keep in mind that having to pay someone to machine quilt your quilts could run you around $200.00 for each quilt. That's the going rate for machine quilting here for a queen size quilt.

I also have a quilt made by my grandmother and another set of just blocks in which the fabrics used are over 200 years old made by my other grandmother and great aunt.

The Quilting Appraiser that viewed them said to retian their value to either leave them as they are or to complete them using the same methods. She also suggested that I use high quality muslin for the backing and only use high quality cotton batting. She insisted on hand quilting only. My Mom gave each of us girls a few of these blocks along with pictures of my grandmother and great aunt that made them and we are all going to frame them for wall hangings. They have to be framed like a museum would frame their artifacts and kept out of direct sunlight or they will deteriorate. Mine are still in my cedar chest wraped in a white sheet because I can't afford the muslin, batting, and expensive frameing right now but they are on my list of important projects to complete.

You can use the newer fabric for the backing. Just wash it first. Also use cotton batting. The hand quilting can be as simple as quilting in the ditch or 1/4" around the outside edges of all seams. This method will cut down on your sewing and still hold the quilt together. It's how I started out and it was easy. Your stitches do not have to be perfect or concise 10 to 12 stitches per inch. I've seen lovely quilting done with only 6 to 7 stitches per inch.

Never, ever, wash your quilts in a washing machine. It will bunch of the batting and can cause tears and wearing to the quilt. If you must wash them, lightly soak it in your bathtub, press out the water, do not ring it out, then lay flat on a white sheet to dry. Preferably somewhere like a covered porch outside. If your quilt has any dark colors, be very careful because the older fabric colors may fade into the lighter colors.

Don't fret about keeping the quilts as 'works in progress'. I just saw a quilt this week that was completed by 5 generations of the same family and it is a treasure! Maybe one or more of your grandchildren or even greatgrandchildren will enjoy adding their hand to completing one of these quilts. :)

Good luck with your quilts and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
What GREAT advice Carolyn! :thumb: I was just going to say 'sure go ahead and have them machine quilted' You're response is much much better and something I never would have thought of.

Meg, you are indeed a VERY lucky lady to have such heirlooms! I would love to have something like that from my dad's mom. Treasure them and enjoy them, whatever you decide to do.
 

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My machine quilter and I had almost this exact conversation the last time I was at her studio. She had a quilt top that her Grandmother had hand pieced. She was really dreading hand quilting it because its just not her thing. Her aunt (Grandmother's other daughter) said to her "do you think Mom would have hand quilted all of her quilts if long armers were available? She was a 'just get it done' kind of person."

So, I would say look at the personality of the original quilter and try to imagine what she envisioned for these quilts? Would she rather you get them finished and let the family use them or would she rather you try to preserve them?

Neither answer is wrong - and only you and your family will know the answer.

Either way - great find! I'm so jealous! :)
 

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If you'd like to have it hand quilted...check around like at churches...the one I went to growing up had a quilt group of older ladies that did everything by hand or see if there is a quilting group around...yes you'll have to pay...but you will keep the feel of the quilt...you'll just want to talk w them and fig the type of hand quilting you want done(unless you just want to do a simple tied quilt that you can do yourself)and ask to see previous work to get an idea if they have the look you want-and maybe give you an idea what type of look for the quilts...they may be able to help on what to use as batting and backing also if any need that....also if any of the fabrics are red...be careful that color bled and faded very easily dep on age of fabrics...deep blues can bleed also.
 

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Great advice Jessica! :thumb: Didn't think of it like that either. :rolleyes:

Another suggestion besides church groups, look into senior centers, bet there are some ladies there that would do it inexpensively, just for something to do. :)
 

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Her aunt (Grandmother's other daughter) said to her "do you think Mom would have hand quilted all of her quilts if long armers were available?
ROFLMBO!!!!!!!:) :) :) The reason this is so funny to me is how TRUE it is, lol. As soon as my Dad's Mom got her first Singer Treadle Sewing Machine I don't think she EVER hand pieced a quilt again, LOL and her Quilting Bee Group of 6 or more ladies did all of the hand quilting. So she was a "get it done" type of lady.

But, Mom's Mom would just be sitting there in her little chair, cutting out her quilt pieces with her scissors and sewing each one by hand while watching her Soap Operas, LOL. To her, a sewing machine was for making clothes, not for pieceing a quilt. She rarely finished a quilt as I got older but made so many beautiful tops and left behind boxes and boxes full of quilt blocks.


So, I would say look at the personality of the original quilter and try to imagine what she envisioned for these quilts? Would she rather you get them finished and let the family use them or would she rather you try to preserve them?

Neither answer is wrong - and only you and your family will know the answer.
Great post! Thank you for giving me some good memories about my Grandmothers too!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone This has helped alot.

I never though about framing an unfinished block... great idea!

I knew one of the grandmothers I used to watch her piece quilts ( by machine) when we were dating she told me we would get a quilt when we were married.... well she passed away 2 years too soon... but the fact that she later pieced by machine tells me shoe would not care.. but I am going to learn on one of the blocks and make a pillow. then I will decide.
 

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I am from a long line of quilters and agree 'what would grandmother have done'. One would have hand quilted it, and the other would have been first in line at the Longarm quilter's house.
I have also framed a block made by my great, great grandmother. It is too fragile to put into a quilt.
My humble suggestion would be do what your heart says. Most of my own are machine quilted (I do my own, rolling them under the arm of the Bernina), but two have been hand quilted. One took 2200 hours, and worth every minute.
When my dh has chemo (he, like me, is a survivor..his is colon cancer), I take hand applique and quilting to work on.
 

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haven't a clue what to advise but I would love to see before and after shots of it all!

sounds wonderful and some great memories
 
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