September 27th, 2013

vintage quilt

I need your advice on a few projects I’ve got going on. First is this vintage quilt I picked up at the thrift store recently. It is super fantastic, there is no doubt. The colors are super saturated and somehow read neon and pastel at the same time. The prints are flat out amazing…

vintage quilt prints

…but the thing is ginormous! Queen size? King size? I don’t know but it weighs a ton. I’m thinking of cutting it down to a twin size for my daughter’s bed. What do you think? I’m pretty sure I can just cut it to size and then hand bind it. I want to use a pattern binding (stripes or polka dots), but is that too much? If I just do a solid color, which color?

And then what to do with the rest? There might be enough for curtains for my daughter’s room, but is that too crazy? Is a pillow to boring and matchy matchy? Advice! Direction! I need you!

cheetah print

Second is this cheetah print. Leopard really, but my youngest son is obsessed with cheetahs and he is convinced this is a cheetah print. He has requested a jacket made out of it. I’m planning on using the Study Hall Jacket pattern. How do I do it so it’s not too costumey? I was thinking of pairing it with that dark green jersey. That’s one option. Another is dying the print:

cheetah print

Another idea is to do more of a color block thing with the print–like Shauna from Shwin and Shwin did. I don’t want the thing to look goofy. I mean he’s 4, so he can rock goofy, but still. Any ideas?! Any advice?



Posted in sewing.

34 Responses to advice

  1. Rachel Wolf says:

    Oh, yeah. Cut, baby, cut. As to the idea of “too much”, well, look at the quilt. If too much were possible it happened six colors and four patterns ago. Go all out! Polka dots to tie any two colors together would be a-mazing.

  2. Sara says:

    I really like the idea of dying the print greet! You still have the cool print but it looks more updated and modern.

  3. christina says:

    I think a solid binding would frame out the prints nicely without competing with the prints. Pink or yellow, blue or green, any of those would be effective. How about asking her to pick her favorite color amongst the many in there and do it in that?
    Instead of a pillow, could you do a bolster pillow to give her bed more of a daybed vibe? My 7 yr old is all about the daybed thing these days…

  4. jess says:

    You could do a black/white dot or check binding, to contrast but not take away from the prints.
    Is there a chair in the room? Could you cover the seat with the extra?

  5. I find that the best answer is usually ‘what you already have.’ I love the idea of a pattern binding – a blue/green combo seems universal enough among the prints to be a nice border, should you happen to have a blue/green striped fabric. (i might have one for you! but it’s knit.) The rest of it will decide what it will be, if anything. Once you have that piece cut off, I’ll bet you’ll figure it out.
    Looks like you already have the green dye for the leopard/cheetah, and that sounds awesome! Pair the dyed print with the jersey and I think you’re on to something.

  6. kate says:

    you, my dear, have a Lilly Pulitzer quilt! Amazing find. You could definitely make it smaller, but as she (the actual Lilly) recently passed away, some of her more rare finds can be worth a decent hunk of change. I’d maybe look into it before cutting at the actual quilt! If it ends up not being worth much, I say cut and bind away. I, too, would go with a solid or striped.

  7. Kathy says:

    My Grandma had a quilt like this that she made. Probably all those prints say lilly. We used to sit together with the quilt draped over us and search for the Lillys.

    Good luck with your great find!

  8. Em says:

    Just how large is it? If it’s really king, you could make TWO twin sized quilts, yet?

    As for the leopard/cheetah, I think you should dye it AND do a color blocking. Green is lovely, so dye it green and then block it with a coordinating solid (green or black).


  9. Marjie says:

    I think dying it is a neat idea. I think using a subdued but contrasting color for the trim (if there is trim) would help the jacket look less costumey (is that a word?). I am excited to see what you end up doing. I think I would definitely do a solid color for the binding on the quilts. It looks like almost any color would work. You could let your daughter chose the color like Christina mentioned.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I wouldn’t be afraid to go whole hog with a print binding but if you go solid I think I’d go white or off white.

  11. Karin says:

    Yes, that quilt screams Lilly! Amazing. Quilt for her for sure. Or don’t cut it, sell it on ebay and go on vacation :)

  12. Katie says:

    Lilly quilt!!!! I just made one for my daughter! Sell me the rest!!!

  13. Saskia says:

    Hi Meg,
    For the jacket, you could also consider adding a hood and lining it with the cheetah print.
    You could even add ears! I did something similar ( and didn’t think it ended up too costume-like. Curious to see what you’ll come up with.

      • kristin says:

        Reading through the comments I now have no suggestions on the quilt (though originally I would’ve said to use a charcoal gray binding to balance out the brightness). I love another commenter’s idea about using the cheetah as a lining though! Done that a couple/few times myself with elephants. I love the fun surprise linings, especially if there’s a hood attached and people get a little peek of it when the hood is down. :)

  14. Linda says:

    Awesome quilt for daughter, yes! Polka dots or stripes on binding, yes! Pillow, yes!
    Green cheetah, no!
    Costume-y for a 4-year old, what’s wrong with that? Put ears on the hood and let him BE the cheetah!

  15. beth says:

    YES….Lilly…I recognized it right away…I sold a quilty Lilly maxi skirt in a week for 225.00 in my etsy shop. You may want to go that route….You can but a lot of fabric for those clams!

  16. kim t. says:

    use the cheetah print for lining, no doubt!

  17. If you do cut… I vote for a plain, lipstick-red binding.

    Mother cheetahs devote a lot of time to keeping their little cubs white, so I also vote for the dye job and color blocking…..

  18. christina says:

    I would use a solid blue for binding the quilt. Not sure why blue; it just seems right to me.

    And for the jacket, could you use it for lining and a few accents on the outside? Maybe dye it olive green, so it’s olive green cheetah accents on olive green solid. That way it’s definitely cheetah only more subtle.

  19. Lucy Richards says:

    If you dye the print will he still like it?
    it would be so sad if he didn’t want to be a green cheetah…
    As for goofy, he’s only 4 once…. and costumy is fine if you’re 4 ;o)

    good luck with the quilt
    personally, i think 2 twin quilts, or 1 twin and a bunch of pillows would be lovely
    i’ve even seen headboards covered in old quilts… it would make sitting reading in bed super cushy
    might make your eyes go a little crazy with all that pattern & colour tho ;o)

  20. Tara says:

    I’m seeing a gray binding for the quilt. And using the cheetah as either the sleeves or body of the jacket. If you paired it with black it would look kinda Ferris to me. Which is cool ^_^

  21. Courtney says:

    I would go for a solid & let you daughter pick it out

  22. Liz says:

    You have a beautiful Lilly Pulitzer sampler quilt.
    Quite collectable now that Lilly has passed away.
    I you’d like it smaller make your daughter a smaller
    size and use the rest for an awesome pouf.
    Congrats on your score.

  23. erin says:

    Definitely a Lilly quilt as so many others have said! Such a fun find.
    If you cut it, I would do a solid for the binding. My immediate thought is white. Polka dots have a tendency to look weird on a binding – they either show up or don’t depending on if you cut the fabric cross-grain or on the bias. And then, they still might not look good. I think a stripe is a better bet.
    With the leftover bits of the quilt, you could make some awesome floor pillows….or use the patchwork as a border on white curtains. You’ve got tons of options! So fun!

  24. Darci says:

    Looks like Lilly to me, too! I’d look into reselling first.
    If you cut it up and bind it, I’d do it in a blue stripe.
    Jacket: color block with solid arms and upper chest . Use print for the lower body

  25. Stephanie Patenaude says:

    Obviously if the quilt is valuable in one way or the other, it’s difficult to say cut it up. But I say “cut, curtains, and POM POM FRINGE!”

    I like the idea of dying ithe cheetah print to subdue it.