Wednesday, October 4, 2017

#89 Garage Sale Vintage

When I wrote about the three Texas Strong quilts I recently finished for Quilts of Compassion,  I mentioned that I finished a fourth quilt, which I called my Vintage Garage Sale quilt.

As you may have guessed, I bought this quilt at a garage sale a few years back. I just spent way too much time looking for pictures I may not have taken when I first brought it home.

I thought I was buying a completed quilt top as part of a taped up tote of quilt supplies. I definitely got my money's worth with the other items in the box, but this quilt was not quite what I thought.

I was really excited to see all the fun vintage prints. Like this:

And this:

When I first opened the quilt, it was nearly king size, all made of 2" strips of various lengths. But then, when I looked closer, I found lots and lots and lots of rips like this.

As well as places where the fabric was threadbare and about to tear, like this:

I was so bummed. I knew that I could save myself some grief and toss it, or I would be looking at many, many hours of taking it apart and putting it back together. Knowing that someone worked hard to start this quilt, I knew I would be challenged to finish it.

This project was a definitive UFO (unfinished object). I'm guessing a few decades from when it was first pieced by it's original creator, and another two or three years of stop and go progress by me.

I had to go along each strip to see if there were any major holes along the way. About one in three strips had at least one unsalvageable block. I carefully used my seam ripper to separate the rows with ripped blocks. Then sewed the complete rows back together. The resulting quilt was much smaller, about 60" x 70".

I found several yards of a blue print in our charity fabric closet that I thought would work for the back. It was around this time that Hurricane Harvey hit, so I knew I was going to donate it. If I was more picky, I might have done a little more research into the age of the original pieces (my quilting group's consensus is 50s or 60s) and looked for a more vintage backing. There was enough of the print that I decided to make a border as well.

After adding the blue border, I cobbled together my scraps to make an outside border from the original strips.

I wanted to use as much of the original fabric as possible. I think I did a pretty good job, because after throwing away the shredded pieces, this is all I had left. 

My original thought for quilting was to echo the strips, but I quickly discovered that the strips were a bit wavy and that quilting would only extenuate that. I decided to go with a much more forgiving--and quicker--spiral instead.

You can see the quilting better on the back.

I brought my the quilt, along with the three Texas Strong quilt to my quilting group. We had a total of 71 quilts to donate to Quilts of Compassion's Hurricane Relief deployment. 

What first caught my eye about this quilt is that it reminded me of a quilt I cuddled with a child. It was my go to quilt when I was sick, and when I was scared or sad, I would take it and crawl into the space underneath the stairs in our basement.

At the time of the garage sale, my mom had the quilt. There are no quilters in my family tree. The quilt was made by a generous neighbor who used clothes worn by my mom and her sisters.

The quilt is now safe with me, but that's post for another day.

When I decided to finish this quilt for Quilts of Compassion, I thought about the person who will receive it. My prayer is that this quilt is symbol of how even when things seem out of control and overwhelming, with time, life can be beautiful again. I hope it will give comfort and warmth and serve as a reminder that they are loved and their struggle is not forgotten.

To see more photos of this quilt in progress, look for #garagesalevintagequilt on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

Linked to:
BOMs Away @ What a Hoot Quilts
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Let's Bee Social #198 @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Link Party @ Tweety Loves Quilting
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the River
Main Crush Monday #91 @ Cooking Up Quilts
Midweek Makers #93 @ Quilt Fabrication
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Off the Wall Friday @ Nina Marie
Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Sew Some Love @ Kat & Cats Quilts
Show Off Saturday @ Sew Can She
Wait Loss Wednesday #36 @ The Inquiring Quilter
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict
WIPs Link Up @ Silly Mama Quilts
WIPs on Wednesday @ Esther's Blog
Works in Progress @ Silly Mama Quilts

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  1. Fantastic finish on your vintage quilt. I am afraid I probably don't have the least not at the undertake such a project.

  2. Great job, a true work of patience. And the spiral quilting just sets it off really well.

  3. Love the quilt, love the story! Thank you for sharing. You did a great job.

  4. Love this wonderful scrappy quilt. The blue border finishes it so well, it was the perfect choice.

  5. Lots of scrappiness in this post. I love it! Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  6. A wonderful scrappy vintage quilt, I love it too!

  7. What a wonderful quilt...well worth saving. I love the giant black and white polka dot bouncing all over the quilt.

  8. wow!!
    thanks so much for linking up!

  9. So amazing! Job well done. And I especially love your quilting! Such a wonderful gift for whoever receives it.

  10. The repair job looks so good, and I love that quilting! I brought home a quilt from my sister that needs some repair and after seeing how nice yours turned out I'm excited to get started. I love the scrappy look of all those strips!

  11. Saving the quilt and transforming it into something beautiful that can be used for the years to come is an amazing work of love! Thanks for sharing!!

  12. What a lively quilt! Your rescue turned out wonderfully. I had a commission to repair a well-loved quilt with similar damage. It was tricky but it worked.

  13. Great story, and a wonderful donation. You and your group did a terrific job. I like the picture of your other quilt at the bottom, too. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have such a place to hide today. =)

  14. Lovely quilts, lovely story! You worked so hard to save that vintage quilt you should be proud. Thanks for linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss.

  15. Vintage Garage Sale is an awesome quilt - you did a great service to rescue it!

  16. Shoot, all I have is a vintage piece that was in a garage sale box that is the size for a wall hanging......and I've had it for years now without the motivation to try to finish it.
    I'm so afraid to wash it for one thing as it may fall apart....I know better than to wash it before it's finished though, made that mistake one too many times.

  17. What a beautiful labor of love and a beautiful quilt. Wonderful work and I love the quilting on it!

  18. love your project!

    thanks so much for linking up!

  19. You did a great job! Thanks for linking up!

  20. What a great adventure for you and a beautiful treasure for someone in need of a fabric hug.

  21. Hey, this is really neat - what a great find, and you did a marvelous rescue job!


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