Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Way-Back Wednesday - 3

For the third installment of Way-Back Wednesday, I have what I consider my grandmother's signature block - the Lemoyne Star. It is quite possible that she made at least 20 of these throughout her quilting years. I should ask my sisters if they have a quilt like this, and then I should ask a few of my cousins. I don't know if Grandma made all the grandkids one of these quilts or not, but if she did, that would be 15.

I do not recall the exact year that I was given this quilt, but I suppose it was the mid-1970s. I graduated from high school in 1975, so maybe I got it for graduation. Some of the prints used in it were things I wore in high school, so I am certainly close in my estimation.

The Lemoyne Star lends itself nicely to use of scraps. My mother made my clothes, and once I learned to sew, I made a lot for myself, as well. All those dresses, skirts and blouses resulted in scraps suitable for a quilt, so that is what I have to show you today - the quilt Grandma made of the scraps of my clothes.

I'm sure you noticed the damage, didn't you? In studying this quilt, I notice that it is not the print fabrics that are shredded, but it is the solids that are rotted away. Not all the solids, obviously, but where there is damage, it appears that the solid fabrics are the problem.

The two photos above show two different damaged blocks. Both blocks had the same rose-colored solid with the print. What causes some solids to fray and shred, while others don't? Older fabric? Cheaply made fabric? I sure don't know the answer.

Can you tell that Grandma didn't do excessive amounts of quilting on this? The stars are stitched a quarter-inch from the seams in outline fashion. The border has her signature cable design. Definitely sparse.

This block also shows that some of the muslin is beginning to thin. I know this quilt got used a lot, and washed a lot. I definitely did nothing to treat is special. If only I'd known, you know?

Grandma's method for her Lemoyne Star blocks was to pair up one of our print scraps with a solid that she had in her stash. I remember studying these blocks and marveling at the way a print looked with one color as opposed to another.

The blue print in the picture above was a top I made as a 4-H project - it was a simple top with no sleeves, no buttons, and no collar. It was easy to make and I think I ended up making others because I liked the pattern so much.

This red plaid was a dress my mother made for me when I was in the 5th grade. I thought I was so chic when I wore this dress. I remember its being very stylish. That colorful squiggly print with the pink solid was a pair of baby-doll pajamas I had at about that same age. The Aztec print with the yellow was a jacket I made for myself when I was in high school.

My question: Would you try to repair this quilt if it were yours? Since there is so little quilting, I could replace the damaged solid pieces with new solids. I could do the same with the muslin pieces that are threadbare.

I will gladly entertain suggestions. For now, it is folded and stored away in a cupboard with most of the other quilts I am sharing on Way-Back Wednesday.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. How nice to have a quilt that your grandmother made especially for you. You must have quilting in your genes.

  2. I would repair it. It would be so nice to have something like that, made by a loving grandmother. You could try appliqueing the correct shaped fabric over the damaged areas? I've seen it done before on a quilt that was damaged by mice. Use a fusible web if you are machine appliqueing or use the needle turn method if you don't want to see any stitching on the replacement pieces.


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