I can’t tell you how happy our family was when we found out that my sister in law Liz and brother Jared were expecting another baby. It had been a long time in coming and it was a joyful, tearful, happy day. Even now I can’t think about it without getting emotional.
Of course I was going to make my expected little niece a quilt. When Liz and I talked about different quilts she might want for the nursery, she remembered that she had an old quilt that she wanted to repurpose. She hadn’t seen it for a while and she wasn’t sure if she could even track it down and if she did track it down, she wasn’t sure if it would even be useable. She found it though (yea!) and sent it to me.
It was large for a baby quilt, about 55′ x 55′, and has a faded pale pink, almost white back ground with a tiny pink rosebud print. So so sweet. It had also been hand quilted, I love that.
Before it had come into her possession this quilt had obviously been well loved and well used. There is something so lovely about that. Knowing that something was loved or maybe a comfort to some little girl, now all grown up.
The blanket was not in good shape. The edge of one side was torn and there were spots all over the quilt, large and small, where the fabric was worn through or very thin. There were also quite a few brown, milk stains.
The first order of business was to get rid of the stains. Nothing worked very well until I soaked it in Oxyclean. And for the darker spots I had to concentrate the powder directly on the spot. It worked.
So now I had a clean blanket and I had seen the larger holes but when I looked at it closely, there were little tiny holes were everywhere. If they weren’t on one side, they were on the other. I didn’t see how I was going to get even a baby sized quilt out of it.
I thought my only choice was to cut it into useable pieces and piece it with other fabrics. That bummed me out. It would be almost impossible to preserve the hand quilting and I wasn’t sure how this old fabric would look and feel with new fabric.
There was one area of the quilt that only had a few small holes, and holes are holes, but then . . .
I thought about appliqué! I could appliqué small patches over the little holes!
Once I thought of that, it only took a few hours to finish. I cut the piece, put a binding of white on it and then appliquéd three little hearts over the holes. Below is my Instagram finishing up one of the appliqués.
This is the first quilt I’ve ever repurposed and although it was a challenge, I loved doing it and am so happy with the final product.
The story doesn’t end there.
Just the other day I got this text from Liz.
Liz: Just found out that old blanket? My great grandmother quilted it for my mother when she was a little girl. How sweet is that??? So glad we were able to revive it!!!
Me: That is so wonderful! I thought it was a thrift store find!
Liz: So it will be made by our daughter’s great great grandma (who was married to Henry Call, our Henry’s namesake)
Me: I’m glad I saved the quilting and didn’t pull it out. Hand quilted by your great grandmother. Her very own stitches. It’s making me cry.
I feel privileged that I was able to be a part of this sweet story and can’t wait to get my hands on my little niece.