Quilt Finish: My Friend’s Vintage Quilt

Today is the day I’m telling you about the quilt I finished last weekend. This is the vintage quilt top that a friend gave me and asked me to finish. It sat in my sewing room for about two years until last weekend I said enough it enough and I need to just finish it.

The quilt top was in…

terrible shape. Nothing was easy about it. You can see that the fabric is thin. You can see that the workmanship on it wasn’t the best. Nothing was straight. Nothing was square. Nothing was flat. This was all after I gave it a good ironing.

I had talked to my friend and told her about the situation and told her there was no way I could make the quilt perfect…No way at all. She said no worries and to just do my best…so I gave it a try.

I was plagued with every sort of problem. First off…I used a set of curtains I had bought from the thrift store for the backing. I had to take them all apart and sew them pieces together. There were only three strips but it was still extra work.

Then my machine which I never have problems with, acted up. Somehow a thread looped over on itself and went into the machine. I had a tension problem and had to rip out an ENTIRE bobbin’s worth of stitching. I am happy to say that I did learn the best way to tackle that and rip it out is from the backside of the machine. It’s SO MUCH QUICKER!! Then my machine straight up wouldn’t go. I did everything I could to try to fix it. I figured I didn’t get the thread out from the inside. I figured I needed to oil it. I turned it off…turned it back on. I did all of those things over again.

I was so frustrated. Then finally…I noticed there was a thread wrapped around in the bobbin case. Oh my word. I was so glad I finally figured out what was wrong.

After about nine hours of working on it, I was finally finished.

It was windy as I was trying to get pictures.

Being the quilt would not lay flat, I had to really work to try to get it quilted without a lot of wrinkles. In general. longarmers will suggest to put a large amount of thread into the quilt if you are trying to smooth it out. that’s what I did.

I did a combo motif in the white area of peddles, hook and point, and hook and bump. In the inside I did a corner to corner design which proved to be hard as the points didn’t always match. I didn’t do anything in the area that bordered the star. That’s where the non flat part showed the most.

In the end, I was pretty please with how well it turned out considering all the waves. I do have some puckers but I did my best and that was all that was expected of me.

If you look at this border you can noticeably see the difference in the width of the borders…check out the star point too. the yellow is completely gone at the tip.

Someone once told me, all you can do is the best you can do and this quilt, is that. You can’t see the backing in this picture. It’s a pale yellow gingham.

The dogs were so happy that I finished this quilt too. They were tired of waiting in the sewing room for me to finish. Aren’t they getting so good at posing together?

I’m so-so happy to have this one finished.

Oh my…working on it has me wondering if I would ever like to reproduce it though…Isn’t it a pretty quilt??

38 thoughts on “Quilt Finish: My Friend’s Vintage Quilt”

  1. Oh my, I just spent an enjoyable half hour or so catching up. I’ve been so busy lately and was very behind on reading! I very much enjoyed the crosstitch posts. I ordered only 2 market release charts. The ladies at Stitchery Nook got them right to me. Thanks for sharing the pictures of them and their shop. My Texas son is looking to move to Iowa…. I’m wondering how close he may be to the Stitchery Nook lol. Also, thanks for sharing the link to the detergent recipe, I’m going to try it out. Lastly, the quilt is beautiful. Any puckers will disappear when it’s being snuggled in. Blessings!

  2. Fabulous finish! I know it was a struggle for you, but it looks lovely in the photos.
    Surely it will be treasured..

    1. Wilma Louise Reasoner

      It certainly does look beautiful! The friend will be so happy to have this treasure preserved.

  3. The quilt surely fits “The galloping horse” rule. If it looks good from a galloping horse, it is fine. I think it looks great.

  4. I have a couple vintage quilts to quilt, and can only hope I do them as much justice as you did with this one.

  5. You did a great job. No one is ever going to look at it as closely as you have while working on it. My mother used to tell me if someone noticed an imperfection, their nose had no business being that close! We also used to commiserate about how we wanted to throw our machines out the window when they acted up.

  6. The quilt is beautiful now. I once bought a gorgeous quilt top at a flea market. When I washed it I realized how thin the fabric was and it would not lay flat. My long armer did a fantastic job of quilting it for me. I’m sure your friend is very pleased with how this quilt turned out.

  7. I can see why this project was put off awhile. Oh my! You did a great job and I am sure your friend will be overjoyed with the finished quilt. It always amazes me what one little thread out of place will cause a machine to misbehave. So glad it wasn’t anything more. Great job and thanks for sharing.

  8. What a beautiful finish! Every diamond got its own orange peel outline, the white background looks amazing with the combination motifs you created and even the little standalone stars got a special touch! I can think of several “special” labels you could put on this quilt: 1) “Quilting this was a challenge, but I love my friend and wanted it to be special for her.” 2) “This quilt haunted me until I finally sucked it up and struggled to get it quilted one way or the other.” 3) “I kicked and screamed through the whole quilting process” 4) I still have nightmares about this quilt!”
    5) “Free at last, free at last!” Okay, I’ll stop. Jo, you did a beautiful job, and your friend will treasure it for its original sentimental value and for the love you put into it!

  9. You’ve done a great job! Talk about making a silk purse out a sow’s ear ……! You have no apology to make here. This was a tough assignment and you knocked it out of the park! bravo!

  10. Susan from Michigan

    You did an excellent job Jo. You did the best you could with what you had to work with. Great example of perseverance and seeing it to a finish! Another UFO, gone!!

  11. Wow, I’m so impressed with your quilting on that gorgeous quilt.So sorry with your troubles as you worked on it, that must have been some discouraging! I really like vintage, antique quilts with their imperfections.

  12. As I was reading I thought of the galloping horse saying too. You really have a lot of patience and skill. I have had things hanging over my head for other people too. When the quilts were done and the friend was happy with them I was so relieved. Bravo Jo!!

  13. I love that you take the approach to quilting that you do. The quilt is beautiful and will cover someone with love. I have loved your sew with Jo videos. I loved Bonnie Hunter videos when she used to do them and I love yours even more. The non commercial nature and your love of quilting is great. Wish I had some way to support you in doing these. I hope you continue.

  14. You have to give cudos to people who longarm…you have the patience of Job! Well done! It would have been in the burn pile if it had been me…

    1. Awesome finish! Motif perfectly suits the quilt. Quilted with love, cuz no one needs to know about the blood, sweat and tears that went into it.

  15. Cynthia from SW MN

    You did a great job on the quilt! Your friend, no doubt, is pleased you did not give up, great quilting designs, and your job is done! Way to go!

  16. Jo I kept going back and looking at the quilt, how it was pieced and how the background was sewn together with what they could manage. Pat yourself on the back and have a good drink to celebrate your finish. What a wonderful job and another UFO to cross off.

  17. Jo, you are amazing! From the pics I had seen in the past; I thought it was hopeless. After you finished with it, it is a treasure! Well done!she will be so pleased with it!

  18. It might be imperfect to your eyes but to me it is perfectly perfect. I would love to have a family heirloom like that. You saved it for her she must be so pleased, I know I would be. You do such beautiful work.

  19. Kudos for quilting a difficult project! Worth it in the end – such a dynamic quilt with all those colors. It looks fantastic,

  20. Grandma did her best and saw it was not so terrific so she did not finish it. Granddaughter loved Grandma and wanted it finished as a memento Gtandma Joey to the rescue. What a beautiful love story. THANK YOU

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