Wednesday 13 May 2015

Learning the hard way

For the quilt show at Villa Cooper in April I borrowed some quilts from their new owners, and one of them was my greatest effort in quilting, the Grandmother's Garden quilt for my daughter Kaija. It was also the beginning of this blog in 2008. The quilt was started in 1993 when I didn't know very much about quilting. One of the important things I didn't know back them was that it is not wise to use very old and very worn fabrics, however lovely and filled with sweet childhood memories they might be.

I picked the fabrics in my mother's attic where she had boxes of old clothes and fabric rests to be used for rag rugs, like old clothes usually were recycled in my country. Frayed fabrics were cut wider so they would last, no problem there. But if you find a lovely pair of doll's long trousers in the sweetest fabric with apples and green leaves and little red stripes, you are tempted to use that fabric for as many hexagons as you can, aren't you?  And look what happens:

The other fabrics are all nice and without any holes, but the apple pants just didn't make it. Six whole blocks, all with damages in so many hexagons that it it not worth it to try to save the best of them to make even one new block with them. I'm going to repair this quilt before returning it to my daughter.

At the moment Kaija's quilt has six gaping hopes like this:

I still had the paper templates I used to make the quilt, and some leftover hexagons too. 

I found some matching fabrics, and spent yesterday's Giro d'Italia TV time basting them on my papers.

Today is stage 5 of the Giro, and my plan is to finish the blocks, and maybe do some knitting.

P.S. I checked all the fabrics for the new blocks, and they are either unused or in good condition.


  1. Dear Ulla,
    good thing that you can save the quilt and fix the ripped blocks.
    What a wonderful quilt and it has been loved for a long time already.

  2. Such a special quilt is lucky to get the attention you are giving it! How happy your daughter must be, to be able to fix it.have fun watching the Giro and fixing the holes!

  3. I too have a quilt I made Laila (my first big quilt) and it needs repair. I don't think the fabric was recycled but it was an inferior cotton. It's in my sewing room to be repaired but I haven't had time yet.
    I would have been tempted to add fabric to the top and not take the whole hexagon part out.

  4. Aikamoinen urakka, mutta ehdottomasti kannattava. Kaunis peitto.

  5. I have a Double Wedding Ring quilt my Grandma made from feed sacks... same troubles. I hate repair work, but I've got it to do before it gets used again... and maybe passed down to the kids or grands.

  6. Oh yes, I made a mistake of BUYING some vintage fabric for one of my early quilts! Live and learn :-)

  7. I made a quilt for my brother's wedding. The bright yellow detoriated badly and I have repaired it several times. The task has now gone to his DinL. She is a a good quilter and will keep the memories alive for some time longer.

    nice new blocks.

  8. Hard work Ulla, You are good.. I am very impressed that you are fixing the old quilt :-)


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