This quilt was a very big lesson for me. The lesson I learned was if someone asks you to finish a rescue quilt for them then I need to be asking, “does it lay flat?”. And then ask for a picture. If it doesn’t lay flat, walk away….
The above quilt did not lay flat. Omigosh, y’all. I was about at my wit’s end with this one. I’ve never had one before that brought such profanity out of my mouth, but this one did.
It’s lovely, of course. That’s all I saw when asked if I’d finish it. All hand done. And who doesn’t like working with those beautiful curves?
Keep scrolling and I’ll tell you all about it.
The Rescue Quilt series is about finishing up quilt tops that were never completed.
The goal is to honor the quilt maker who made the quilt top by completing their project, to not waste good craftsmanship (usually done by hand), to ogle long ago yummy fabrics, and to breathe in a little old inspiration and make it new again.
You can view all parts of this series here.
Want to get started on finishing your own Rescue quilts? Here are a few articles to get you started:
- How to clean them
- how to find them
- Why you should label your quilt.
- Also, check out this pinterest board of “Inspiring Vintage Quilts” and be sure to follow me there!
About the Quilt
The pattern on this one is a Glorified 9-patch. It’s basically a 9-patch except the corners of the 9-patch curve and extend into points, leaving those lovely orange peel shapes. I can’t remember if I’ve ever worked on one of these before, but I think not.
The yellow is a bit bright, but one can overlook that with the amount of work and patience that would have been required to make this quilt. Somewhere along the way though, something went wrong.
I can’t tell you exactly what though I’ve thought a lot about it. But everywhere the blocks met up with another block, there would be this abundance of fabric, this excess. That’s what caused this top not to lay flat.
I’ve had this happen many times in my rescue quilts in the past and the majority of the time I can quilt it out. The sides may end up a bit wobbly, but that’s never bothered me on rescue quilts. Most of the time you are looking for a finish, not perfection.
This one however, could not be quilted out. Or at least, I couldn’t get it to quilt out. Instead I opted to sew tucks and to disguise them as best as I can. I’m not talking about those accidental tucks and folds, I’m talking about deliberate ones that you try to hide as much as possible.
I also quilted the devil out of it, which probably helped make them even less noticeable.
About Glorified 9-patch Quilts
Glorified 9-patches were a popular 30s era quilt. You start with an un-even 9-patch block (the middle units are narrower then the corner units) and then you add your orange peel and get that great shape.
The above pic was taken after I quilted, but before it was washed. It’s much easier to see in this pic how much quilting I actually did on it. I used my succulent quilting design. It’s a dense design and I wanted the quilt to be strengthened by all the many stitches since it was a hand pieced top.
You can also find the tucks I sewn if you look for them above. They did create imperfections throughout the quilt that I was hoping would disappear after I washed it.
After it was washed they did almost disappear. You’ll have to really look for them to find them now. Yes, of course, any decent eye will find them, and yes, it is imperfect. But it’s DONE. And it can be snuggled under and loved and drug around and used.
It’s still doesn’t lay perfectly flat, but it almost does…
What I’ve done
The lady I finished this one for wanted muslin on the back of it. She wanted me to also keep the curves on the outer edges of the quilt, but I wasn’t able to do that unfortunately. When I was folding and tucking and stitching, a lot of the “mess” that made ended up mostly on the edges, so cutting them made the quilt look much better.
I machine bound this one wanting to make it as strong as possible.
The above picture is a good example of what I mean when I say folded, tucked and stitched. All that excess fabric was done this way and it was done at almost ever meeting of the blocks.
Pattern – Glorified 9-patch
Size – 76×88″
Blocks – 64 blocks
Top Fabrics – Rescue quilt
Backing Fabrics – Natural Muslin
Binding – Serenity Stripe in Taupe
Batting – Warm and Natural batting by the Warm Company
Thread – Microquilter in cream for quilting
Techniques Used – Free motion quilting, ditch binding.
I’m glad this one is done. As pretty as it turned out and even with the learning I did during it, I was very frustrated during the making of it. I still have a stack of rescue quilts to get through, most of them Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts. Maybe I’ll have those to show you soon. 🙂
Marilyn Kahlo-Burton says
Wow! It looks great! And to see what you had to begin with on those edges, I think you’re a miracle worker!! I hope the woman you finished it for has some understanding of how hard you had to work to make this quilt into a lovely family heirloom!
Spinnin Jenny says
I got one of my grandmother’s hand pieced Glorified Nine Patch quilt tops in 1973, along with a copy of her pattern templates. I loved the pattern in pink that she used. I tried to duplicate the block but it never worked out. Because I sewed and had never quilted, I stored this beautiful quilt top with my sewing fabric. I’m 69 and several years ago I started on the journey to finish this quilt top. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos and quilt shop videos to teach myself to quilt. I’ve done small pieces just to learn how to quilt. I now realize that her pattern templates didn’t include the seam allowances and would never have worked out. I always wanted to enlarge the quilt top but never knew how to do that but have decided not to do that. Instead, I plan to eventually finish it, as is, and make a new, larger quilt of my own.
Jessamyn H says
You certainly had your work cut out for you on this one ! I hope your client was suitably impressed by your hard work and dedication on making this quilt not only useful, but beautiful too!