Yesterday was like any other work day, raking leaves in the front garden of my customers. Their neighbour stopped to chat to me and of course, seeing that snow has been forecast were talking about that, mainly that he was going to take his book stall to a market in Tynedale. He started to tell me that there was a really good plant stall there. I explained that I do nothing garden related in my spare time and that I sewed and made quilts. Oh, he said that he had a nice book on American quilts and an original Civil War quilt. Wow. He went to get the book to show me but came back with the quilt.
He had bought it in Charlotte, North Carolina USA as an 1850 Civil War Quilt. He used to be in a Civil War reenactment Society, he bought the quilt to use, he said it kept him very warm whilst camping.
He then asked if I would like it! Goodness me, how kind is that. He wanted it to go to someone who would appreciate it and perhaps mend it. After double checking it was Ok for me to take it, "yes definitely" so off in my van it went.
Its got some large sections of damage and a good deal of the fabric is delicate.
The back is a plain fabric which is worn thin, at first I thought it was rust marked but have done a little bit of research on old quilts, the rusty bits are the remains of long gone dead bugs! Yuck.
At first I thought that I would just leave it as it is but on reflection, if I carefully repair, darn and patch, it will just be another bit of history to very old quilt.
I have spoken to the Village Fabrics at Wallingford, they do packs of reproduction Civil War fabrics, I have sent her a photo of the quilt and she will pick the best packs out for me. I will make new large triangles using 2 different coloured small triangles (I am sure there will be a name for this type of block) and applique them on top of the worst of them, there are 10 that need fixing. The holes will be darned and I will put some binding on the edges to protect it. It will need a gentle hoover using a fine fabric over the nozzle to clean it up, its far too gone for a wash! I will sew a label for the back, giving its history and when I repaired it.
It might take a while so watch this space.
A big thank you to Peter, what a kind chap.