Sunday, January 14, 2018

Label on Mom's GFG

I was asked to present a Quilt Trunk Show in December at a Christmas Tea given for all the churches.  What a lovely honor.  Here is just ONE of the quilts (until I remember how to do a Photobucket thing!)  That's me, talking.   I attached a lengthy label on this vintage quilt - below is what the label says. 

Mom’s Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt

 Maker:  Alyce Adair Wyckoff Broberg Eick
Owner:  (daughter) Elaine Adair Broberg Bradford Moore, Alliance, Nebraska

Mom, age 21, made this quilt in 1936-37, while awaiting her first child, Kristin, my older sister.  My folks lived in Chicago at that time.  Mom loved color and gardens!  The lively fabrics were from homemade garments for nieces, aged 3 or 4, who lived nearby with Uncle Bert and Aunt Kate.

This quilt had remained folded and unused (“save it for good!”) on Mom’s wood shelves in a farm bathroom for 25-30 years, and when the quilt was finally inspected, we were shocked to learn the wood acids had eaten holes clear through the quilt.  The center fold lines across the quilt were GONE, including fabric in the rosettes and pathways.  Other places, while still intact, were weakened or shredded. The binding needed replacing and the quilt was very dirty. Then it came to me, “the quilter”, and it sat another 10 years, but NOT on a wood shelf.     

I didn’t know the “right” approach to repair this quilt – the general consensus was that “Hexagons were difficult!”  One day in 2014, I gathered courage, template plastic, hand sewing materials, repro fabrics, and started making hexagon rosettes.  After a few false starts, several poorly made templates, I realized, I LIKED this process and in one week, had the 5 rosettes needed.  I was addicted!!!

I remade entire or partial rosettes and hand appliqued them over the partially destroyed parts.  I did NOT remove the damaged parts, but left them in, and did not remove any of Mom’s hand quilting.  The new fabrics blended in very well!  For the back areas that were so damaged or gone along that fold line, I cut a strip of thin cotton batting and backing along the entire width, and quilted it all together from the front.  In places that were not damaged, I basted the front to the back with blind basting stitches.  I replaced the worn binding, and gently machine washed the quilt one time.  My purpose was to repair the quilt, not make it look like new. 

I still hear my Mom’s preaching -- “It’s never as hard as you think it is.”  I am the only quilter in my family – it was up to me to save it.

Elaine Moore
Alliance, NE
July 2016



Elsie Montgomery said...

I've been so delighted with your work, and now I am even more - what a lovely repair job and work of love! Bless you!

Becky said...

so beautiful. It has also fallen to me to repair / finish my grandmother's quilts. It has to be a labor of love - no one could pay me enough if it wasn't.

Gypsy Quilter said...

What a wonderful quilt rescue story, mom would be very proud of you.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Simply marvelous - and what a terrific label to preserve the story.

Ruth said...

It's beautiful! I have always been against "Saving" items for only special occasions. We don't go to all the work of making something to have it sit on a shelf!

Janet O. said...

Elaine, it looks absolutely beautiful. And I commend you for the documentation, as well as the restoration!

Lindah said...

Elaine, it looks wonderful. What a treasure!

Rose Marie said...

What an adventure you were on, but what a treasure you now have.

Vivian said...

What a great quilt and a great story about your presentation and more importantly your label for those that see the quilt in the future. Quilting is always "never say never" -- whatever you think you won't or can't do, with the right motivation it gets done! Also wonderful you got to quilt with your Mom in spirit and now this treasured heirloom can be enjoyed by the generations that follow. Lovely!