Trying to salvage an old quilt

I spent a good portion of the day yesterday trying to salvage an old quilt.

When my mother was born, women made quilts for cover. I’m sure my mother (who is now 101 years old) has no idea how many quilts she has made altogether because many wore out and were discarded. (In later years, she made quilts for their beauty, but that’s a story for another post.)

In this picture, you can get a good idea of how the pattern sets together.

For practical, everyday quilts, one of Mom’s favorite patterns was a simple pieced design composed of squares, rectangles, and triangles. She called the pattern Tennallytown (and I have no idea whether I’m spelling that correctly or not). One reason she liked this design was because she could use up scraps left over from clothing she’d made for herself and for others, including me, of course. (She might have used flour sacks or feed sacks at one time, but not in my memory.)

But I digress. The quilt I’m talking about in this post is one she made especially for me when I went away to college. We had no twin-sized beds in the house, so we had no twin-sized quilts, but I needed some cover for a twin-sized bed in the dorm. Thus, she reduced the size of the blocks for the Tennallytown and made me a quilt. I used it in college and then for our daughter until finally I, too, had no twin-sized beds, and the quilt was put away.

As you can see, the dark fabrics deteriorate more quickly than the lighter shades. This may have to do with the dyes used.

Now I have a grandson who has a twin-sized bed so I decided to see if I could salvage the quilt for him. It was in bad shape. Some fabrics, especially dark colors, had simply deteriorated, and the cotton batting was sticking out. Obviously those blocks had to be repaired.

I’d like to be able to do a better job than I am, but at this point, I’m just hoping to repair it well enough for him to use it a while. To me, there’s nothing more comfortable to sleep under than an old-fashioned quilt with cotton batting. They make good cover the year round.

I’m including a couple of pictures so you can see what I’m talking about, and I’ll update my progress in a future post. In the meantime, if you have any special memories of quilts, I’d love for you to share them in the comments section.

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