A Vintage Treasure
A friend of mine saw a post on a local Facebook group and got me in touch with the original poster. She was looking for someone to help finish a quilt that was started by her great-grandmother back ~1940’s. She brought a box over and we poured through some incredible bits of nostalgia. In addition to some vintage fabrics (already cut and partially pieced) there were hand-written notes, hand cut cardboard templates, old pattern pieces, even old straight pins. Figuring out what was there was like a puzzle. I began finishing the blocks that were started, figured out how they were made. The pieces were machine-stitched, but hand appliquéd to the background fabric. The partial pieces were meant for a wavy border around a very large quilt. The background fabric was all in the box cut into large strips. Great-Grandma Theresa was a gifted quilter, and by piecing together her notes, we are hypothesizing that she planned to make this quilt for Carol, her son, my customer’s grandfather. This box of treasures was handed down to her mother and then to her, and as a gift to her mother and her siblings, we completed a quilt and also put together 4 pillows with miscellaneous quilt blocks that were also found in the box along with the scraps of left over fabric.
It was an absolute honor to be asked to complete this vintage masterpiece. I spent hours dreaming about what life might have been like for Tressie and her family. I hope that I did justice to her original vision. One of the fun pieces of the puzzle involved some hand-written notes both written by her and a note sent to her from a cousin. There were receipts and a magazine subscription renewal form, and the copyright date on one of the tissue paper pattern pieces was 1923! I found someone on Etsy who was able to digitize Theresa’s signature which I then embroidered onto the quilt label and pillow fronts.
While quilt restoration isn’t part of my business plan in the long run, I’m very proud to have had this experience. My happy customer entrusted me again with a commission to make a t-shirt quilt with her daughters shirts for Christmas, I’ll get those photos posted soon as well!