My mother is in town for Thanksgiving and with her she brought me something really special.

Haight Family Quilt top

A quilt top from my family.  Though my mother had it, it is from my father’s side of the family.  My great aunt didn’t know who had made it (she though her grandmother or great aunt), so it’s from many generations ago. Apparently there are more and I’m going to be getting them over time.  Needless to say, with the role quilting plays in my life, this is incredibly meaningful for me.

See those half blocks along one edge of it?  Anyone know exactly what those are for?  My mother was saying she thinks it had to do with how the quilt would be arranged with pillows on a bed.

It’s got some really great fabrics in it.

Great fabrics

And it needs a little bit of repair.

Needs some repair

I think that repairing and then finishing this quilt is a project I’m going to tackle. If anyone has done anything like this before, please let me know any tips or tricks you have.  I’ve never quilted anything by hand before, but I think this is the project that will make me do it.  It’s so wonderful to think that I’ll sit and handstitch this project just like my family did before me.

Hope that you all have wonderful Thanksgivings!!  I’m so thankful for all of you and all this blog has brought me so thank you!!

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  • Amy Hodge

    November 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Reply

    You might look at the Q is for Quilter blog at Martha does all hand piecing and quilting (or at least lots of it), and frequently rescues old quilts and quilt tops and makes them like new. I bet you could get some good tips from her!

  • jaybird

    November 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Reply

    what a great gift.. i’ve never done anything like that.. but i’m sure you’ll figure it out!

  • beth

    November 25, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Reply

    what a great quilt! wow! take your time hand quilting and use wool, hobbs 80/20, or thin polyester…not warm and natural. Don’t worry about how big the stitches are…just try to make them about the same size and HAVE FUN!

  • Audrie

    November 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Reply

    Such an amazing heirloom!! I need to learn to repair quilts too… someone just asked me if I’d rescue her quilt and I want to help her out since the quilt was from her late MIL.

  • J.

    November 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Reply

    Maybe the row of half-blocks hang over the side of the bed/mattress? Have fun hand-quilting! Such a wonderful gift!

  • Ashley

    November 25, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Reply

    The half-blocks were to indicate the top of the quilt, so you wouldn’t accidentally put what had been on your feet up by your face!

  • Shelly

    November 25, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Reply

    These are the priceless pieces of our past. Do believe the block is a Carpenter’s Wheel. Enjoy your rescue!!

  • Amy Menges

    November 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Reply

    Such a treasure! And Ashley is right- the half blocks belong at the pillow end of the bed.

  • Viv

    November 25, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Reply

    Beautiful !! What a lovely gift.

  • Andi

    November 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply

    My first attempt at hand quilting was restoring a quilt my grandmother had lovingly hand stitched.
    My advice, get someone who ‘knows’ to sit with you and show you a few tips and tricks. The rest will be a wonderful journey that only you can take.
    Enjoy the process.
    Andi 🙂

    PS You can read about my grandmother’s quilt here:

  • Jeanne White

    November 25, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Reply

    This is so beautiful and so special. I have a quilt top my grandmother pieced and I hope to hand quilt it soon…maybe in 2010. May you enjoy every stitch you put into this quilt.

  • jeanettesquilin

    November 25, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Reply

    What a perfect gift for you! Enjoy it and repair it with love…so nice.

  • Catherine

    November 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Reply

    What a wonderful gift to get your families quilts. I have handquilted most of my quilts and do love the look it gives. I agree with Andi that it would be a good idea to get someone with experience to show you the technique. Don’t worry about the size of your stitches just try and get them the same size. Thimbles and a decent size hoop are a must. I have just posted about my latest hand quilted quilt here. Enjoy the process and have fun.

  • julia::ordinarysaturdays

    November 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply

    Your mom must have a lot of appreciation for your talent.

  • Melissa

    November 25, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Reply

    Sweet!! :o)
    When my grandmother passed away, I inherited her unfinished quilt tops, too…but none were as close to finished as this one! I absolutely LOVE the history in them, as all the fabrics are my grandfather’s old shirts and grandma’s old dresses. They are in desperate need of repair, though, and I’m afraid my hands are just not good enough to make it happen. 🙁
    Please chronicle your journey, though…maybe it’ll give me hope. :o)

  • bingobonnie

    November 26, 2009 at 12:12 am | Reply

    WOW! What a gorgeous treasure you have been gifted with!

  • Lauren Hawley

    November 26, 2009 at 3:12 am | Reply

    Oh, yay, Alissa! I know you hoping that was your surprise. It’s beautiful. Those half blocks are interesting. Let us know if you find out any thing else about them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • wishes, true and kind

    November 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Reply

    What a wonderful quilt top and part of your family history :).

  • Corky

    November 27, 2009 at 9:57 am | Reply

    Wow! Lucky you. What a treasure. While you are repairing it, make a label, tell the story so far as you know it – that will keep the history going from here on out. BTW – I think your mom is right, the half blocks probably went on the pillows.

  • paula

    November 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Reply

    I believe the 1/2 blocks are for how the pillows are folded under the quilt. If you place the quilt on the bed and fold the top back, place the pillows against the headboard partly over the folded edge of the quilt, and then flip the folded part up and over the top of the pillows. The 1/2 blocks should be centered along the center of the pillows, creating a pretty design ! My great grandmother was a quilter and my mom had all of her quilts. I love taking them out and looking at them when I visit my mom and am excited that one day some of them will pass down to me! Enjoy this treasure and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Lisa @celebrate CREATIVITY

    November 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Reply

    What a work of art. This is stunning and a beautiful project. I love the pattern.

  • sew katie did

    November 29, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Reply

    Awesome. I have a truckload of quilts from my Mom and my husband’s grandmother. I however sleep under the butterfly one every night that only fits over ME.

  • Picnicking in Dreamland

    November 30, 2009 at 7:36 am | Reply

    Spectacular! An amazing heirloom. I wish our family quilts had survived to the extent this one has.

  • Kristan

    December 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Reply

    You are one lucky girl! If you don’t want to quilt it, or are looking for great instruction – take it to your local senior center or retirement community. Just be prepared…those knowledgeable ladies will talk your ear off! (Which is most fun of all!)

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