Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hexies, and GFG Repair

This is Mom's GFG (Grandmother's Flower Garden) quilt, probably finished in the late 1940s, and made with chicken mash feed bags.  She believed in "Save it for good."  The colors are chosen carefully, with artistic flair - there wasn't much time for artistry, having moved to a farm, from her easy life in Chicago, and having 4 kids, and the usual demands of a falling-down farm.  

I remember seeing it for years, on a wood shelf in a linen closet.  This is what happened  unfortunately.  

The major damage is in 3 places, along fold lines, and goes all the way through the back.

I've owned this quilt for about 10 years and it's been 10 years of "planning to think about starting to get ready and get organized and buy some fabric, to begin" etc., etc., but,  I actually DID start on repairs.  And, just like Mother's told us, it's never as hard as what we think!!!   I measured the size of the finished hexie, and make some plastic templates, casually cut fabric about the size of the hexie, and folded fabric over the template and took the 2 stitches at the corner and goodness, my first effort was finished very quickly - ADDICTIVE!  Unfortunately, the end product was a bit too small so I made more plastic templates a bit larger and voila - this one happened in only 2 evenings of watching TV commercials!  8-)))  My finished hexagon templates are not precise, but close.  Wish I had a better template.  

Here is a ruler, but it wasn't the right size to match Mom's Hexies.  The most confusing part is determining the "correct" size, especially since Mom's size was "off" standard.   There seem to be many ideas of how a hexie should be measured, so if you plan on making hexies, you MUST  understand YOUR particular method.  Side to side is one measurement, but point to point is not the same measurement.

I pieced mine over plastic Mylar - (no, I didn't need it to be Mylar) the stiffness made for a sharp edge/crease, but was a little hard to take out.  I had made a punched hole in each plastic, but removing with a pen point gave me fears of destruction, but they DID come came out with no damage.  I have a Fiskars Hexie punch on order, so I can do the NEXT project with all the same size papers/cardstock.  First efforts with cardstock was OK, but I had issues with sewing the cardstock into the hexies.  Groannnnn!

The binding on her quilt also needs replacing and thankfully, she made edges straight.  It definitely needs washing.  When I placed this rosette casually on the damaged area, it blended in so nicely!  I'm so glad I've begun repairs on Mom's beautiful quilt. 


Michelle said...

Just gorgeous and kudos to you for working so diligently to repair it so nicely!

Paula, the quilter said...

You know, I have a fairly prodigious stash of 1930 and 1940 fabric. Let me know if I can help you match some of those fabrics. I love GFG quilts. I have personally finished two: one as practice that I picked up at a flea market and the other was my grandmother's. I still have one to re-do that was started by a great-aunt.

swooze said...

Love repairing old quilts or finishing them. So satisfying!

Janet O. said...

What a treasure.
I understand how easy it is to postpone something like this repair, fearing the complications that may be involved. I'm glad it is not as hard as first thought. : )

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic keepsake! And thanks for the encouragement to us all...repairs aren't that difficult and so worth it!

Tanya said...

That is a gorgeous quilt! And so worthy of your repair work... I would be worried that the aged threads would pull away more but one couldn't leave it with holes in it... Great repair job!

Ruth said...

I think your Mom was right about things not being as hard as you think it will be. It's just that when you haven't done something you don't know and once you do know how, it seems easy - if not tedious. I have some blocks that my grandma made probably in the 40s or 50s out of feed sacks and I really need to put them together in a quilt top. I think I'm glad I didn't try to do it sooner as I have learned a lot in the last few years and I have more confidence now. I still don't know when I will finish it, though.

Purple Pam said...

Good for you for diving in and getting started on the repairs on your mother's quilt. It is beautiful and I am sure it will be even more so when you have finished the repairs.