Strip Tease - Quilt Top Re-work

1940s Quilt Quilt Top Re-work Vintage Fabric Vintage Quilt

I have a thing for buying up old quilt tops that are a bit....well...kinda on the ugly side.

Because in amongst the overall ugly there is a whole lot of good stuff just waiting to be cracked out and used.

It's a bit like those scenes in corny movies where the girl receptionist with the hair bun and thick glasses does her little undoing and flick of the long flowing hair and takes her glasses off to reveal shes a Vogue worthy model.

Thats what an ugly quilt top is for me. Its a beauty just waiting to be discovered.

So with that movie scene in mind and with these two finds, i'm calling this quilt top re-work the 'strip tease'.

I found these two tops the last time I was in the USA on a buying trip. They were made by the same person but judging from the fabrics about 5 years apart. They were both hand sewn (and she was a backstitcher....makes things slower to unpick as you can't just yank the threads out) with these great strips of scrappy blocks but had been inset with flannelette.

Now don't get me wrong, flannelette can be great for a quilt, but I don't like it when its mixed with cottons. I make quilts for babies and little tackers in flanny when I'm being the cool Aunty. But I don't like it when its shoved in and gets all ikky alongside nice crisp cotton.

Top 1 - Yellow and grey flanny

Top 2 -Blue floral flanny

Fritz - who can't stop parking his arse on everything

So I unpicked the strips and removed the flanny and I was left with 17 x 2 mt long strips of fantastic prints. Late 40s and early 50s. There are some great ones in this lot.

I decided to take about 20 cm off the end of each strip to make up a few more to get the top a bit more square in shape than rectangular

After this, all I had to do was stitch the strips together and now, no more ugly ducklings. As two tops become one, I like how this has panned out. Nice and easy too.

Stitching the strips


Trimming the ends


Strippy Strippy

I have now found this reclaimed quilt back of the same era. It was taken from a tied quilt that I restored the top to. That top has since gone to a new home. But the new owner didn't want this back. It really didn't match the top which is why I took it off in the first place, it was added on at a much later date to a late 1800s top. I love a bit of wacky, but this just wasn't right.

So, I might finish this one off and put it on the spare bed in the back room. We haven't had the spare room for a few years as it was my office for ages but now the office is in the studio.


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  • Miep Jager-Schiphorst on

    Lovely revamp. I bought two unfinished tops like that from the 50s, seeing yours. I might a have to pull that lot out and see what can be made from it.

  • Rachaeldaisy on

    Happy new blog! I like your revamp of the scrappy quilt top. It’s such a great mix of fabrics.

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