Loretta learned to sew on her grandma's treadle sewing machine. She began sewing her own clothes in 7th grade and still enjoys fabric work.
Step 1. Decide What Parts of the Quilt Can Be Salvaged
Decades ago, my grandma made this Dresden Plate quilt all by hand. After so much use, it became worn and torn. I could not bring myself to throw it away and decided to cut it down into something I could use. Maybe you also have something you cannot throw away but could repurpose and give new life.
You may be able to cut away a foot or so of fabric around the edges and leave a lot of the center. I was able to do this. I cut off two rows of quilt blocks.
If not, you can still salvage some of the quilts. You may end up with a full-size, twin-size, or lap-size quilt. That doesn't matter too much because what you are really saving are the memories.
Cut out as large of sections as you can. You might then want to piece these sections together by machine, serger, or by hand. Use scissors, a rotary cutter, or electric shears. If you do create pieces, you may need to give attention to the backside.
Step 2. Secure the New Edges
One option to finish the new perimeter is to bind the quilt in a traditional way. Binding can be made from newly purchased fabric if you want to match a certain color or pattern. Another option is bias tape to encase the edges.
My choice is to use my serger utilizing both needles to make the edges more secure than a single needle might be.
Since this project has been newly cut, the edges are nice and clean. This means my blade does not have to do a lot of work, but I still want to trim any uneven fabric.
The blade is right beside the silver foot. It will cut off any uneven fabric and encase the edge all at the same time. You can see the two top threads from the needles and the two side threads from the loopers. The newly cut fabric is falling away toward the front.
Step 3. Use Seam Sealant
You cannot backstitch on a serger in order to secure your seam. Instead, use a seam sealant at the end of your serged corner. Cut off the extra thread after it dries completely. This will wash and dry in the machine with no problems.
My Grandma once made a pieced pillow top for me. When I told her how much I liked it, she said, "I had fun making it for you." I still remember that moment. If you cannot get a good size out of your old quilt, you could make a block of it into a pillow as a keepsake.
New Quilt, Old Memories
You now have a different version of a well-loved quilt. I hope you can make something to give yourself some good memories.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 The Sampsons
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