Rescuing a wonderful vintage hexagon star quilt!

I forgot to measure, but I’m thinking this would have been on a Standard/Double bed.

A recent find and you know me and hexagons, I could not pass on it. But let me tell you…this quilt was filthy! So filthy I could not bring myself to do more than cover the holes with soft white tulle. I had to stop and wash my hands frequently and while I’m not a crazy germophobe, I did wonder at times what kind of dust and grime I was inhaling as I attached the protective tulle. 😕

Only one edge was bad, the others have binding issues but that can be easily resolved later.

About 9 different full and several half hexagons had the fabric literally rot away. While I am not an expert on feed sacks I do believe the hexies are mostly if not all made from feed sack fabrics.

Using soft white tulle purchased at a craft store in the bridal area, I cut squares/rectangles a size that would cover the areas where the fabric was missing.

Can you see the pink thread? Choose a thread other than white, something you can readily see because after the soak/laundry step you will be removing the tulle. I used the longest stitch my sewing machine offered and most often I did a straight stitch through the battered hexagon area to further secure the damaged batting.

If you look closely you will see that this hexagon fabric has split and the tulle will provide some stabilization until I can make the necessary repairs.

I can tell from the bits of fabric left that the same fabrics consistently across the quilt top could not stand up to the wear of this utility quilt.

The back of the quilt also has some serious issues but nothing that can’t be fixed. I do think there are some stains that are permanent though. I will know after the piece has finished soaking.

At first I thought these were rust stains, but now I’m not too sure. They are all over the back fabric. Time will tell.

Look at the ugly brownish-yellow water at the bottom of my soaking tub. Oh my! I soak all my vintage quilts in Sodium Perborate, the same thing as Retro Clean. It does such a wonderful job of removing the dinge associated with old quilts. I use very hot tap water and always soak my old quilts for at least 48 hours. After soaking, I will drain am much water as possible and then it’s on to the front load washing machine and the dryer. It’s after the quilt is dry that I will begin removing the tulle and the repair process will begin.

Can’t wait to see this potential beauty when it’s clean and smelling great!

Happy quilting and blessings,

Rhonda

12 thoughts on “Rescuing a wonderful vintage hexagon star quilt!

  1. when the “batting” is this destroyed throughout a quilt what do you do with it? I have several pieces like this where I have cut off lumps/wads but then there are wads that are in the stitches, what do we do about that??? thanks in advance of reply . “the blond quilter” otherwise known as Cheryl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am fortunate in that the batting is only destroyed underneath the missing hexagon fabrics. If the batting throughout the entire quilt was destroyed I would take a pass on working with the quilt. I have know others that remove all the quilting and start over with the quilt top.

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  2. That quilt was certainly well used and loved! Fortunately the right person found that special quilt and will return it to the original quilters glory. Thanks for providing the necessary steps for the pre-soaking/washing process.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ur brave Rhonda !!! I wouldn’t even begin to imagine doing that restoration !! Will be brill though to see it when done . Good on you !

    Liked by 1 person

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