Vintage Quilt Top Advice


6 6 vintage quilt top

OK, I need some advice from the quilting/sewing community…

How should I repair and complete this quilt top?

vintage quilt top repair question on

My Mother-in-law gave this to me over the weekend, and I think it’s adorable! It’s a mix of machine- an hand-pieced blocks from the 1930s, and she found it at an auction probably 20 years ago.

share your tips for repairing a vintage quilt top on share your tips for repairing a vintage quilt top on

A few spots on the blocks need to be re-stitched.

share your tips for repairing a vintage quilt top on share your tips for repairing a vintage quilt top on

My plan: Stitch up some of the holes, wash it, iron, and finish quilting it.

I will probably keep it on my quilt ladder on display, or on a guest bed (someday – I don’t have a guest bedroom in my house right now), because it’s approx. 6’x6′.

What do you think?

Quilts are meant to be used, so I want it to be “usable” (even if I’m just displaying it). I think that would mean quilting and finishing it.

OR maybe I could just add a backing, no batting, just to contain the fraying edges and display it that way? With knot quilting or a few hand stitches?

I’ll definitely repair the holes and wash it, but then what?

Thanks for your help! ūüôā



  1. June 6, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    I wish I knew what to tell you! It IS beautiful, good find Mom!!

  2. Judy Lee
    June 8, 2016 / 7:59 am

    I longarm for others and have found a niche repairing and quilting vintage quilts. I usually use a ladder stitch to repair the seams that have opened up. If the seam is a little ravelled, I try to gently pull fabric pieces a bit closer and ladder stitch. For the bigger repairs, fusible tricot to back side of fabric or applique a new piece of fabric on top. All the repairs that I have done have held up nicely after quilting. Good luck!

    • Danielle
      June 8, 2016 / 8:39 am

      Thank you, Judy! That’s so helpful!

  3. Tess
    June 21, 2016 / 11:39 pm

    I also longarm and have done a few vintage quilts. They can be fragile before they are quilted so I wouldn’t recommend washing it before you have repaired it as best as possible, quilted and bound it.

    • Danielle
      June 22, 2016 / 11:45 am

      Thanks, Tess! I ended up washing it first, because it smelled so musty :/ It was making me sneeze!
      It held up well though, so I’m looking forward to repairing it and posting the finished result soon!!