Quilt Restoration & Quilt Repair
Rocky Mountain Quilts offers expert antique quilt repair and restoration services to preserve your family's memories.
The basis of my restoration company has always been to preserve the integrity of the original textile; each quilt is a totally unique piece of art and reflects the creativity of its maker. It is essential to restore a quilt to the overall look and feel of its original condition.
Betsey Telford-Goodwin's Rocky Mountain Quilts restoration services has been featured in the July 2004 issue of The New England Antiques Journal. The article reprint found here is used with Permission of "The New England Antiques Journal"
Unlike furniture restoration, where any removal of original patina is irreversible, we can preserve a quilt’s original fabric about 95% of the time by simply layering over it with the restoration fabric. The only exceptions to this rule are for thick wools or heavily embellished fabrics, in which case layering would create too much bulk and interfere with the original look and feel of the quilt.
Each quilt is full of positive energy, and hold the emotions of every person in its history. When clients bring in a damaged quilt, they are hoping to regain that positive energy, and it gives us great pleasure to clean and restore these quilts to be enjoyed to their fullest once again.
The Restoration Process: After washing (all cotton quilts must be washed - cost $290+ - before we begin any restoration work), your quilt is closely inspected for damage and a restoration plan is written. This plan includes the materials needed and the labor necessary to complete the restoration. Occasionally, the restoration plan is presented as a range of services, so you will have the option of having all or just some of the work completed as suits your budget. Betsey will give you professional advice appropriate to your quilt, and has been known to talk clients out of or into restoration projects on occasion! For example, if your quilt is a family heirloom, then restoration may be viewed differently than for a quilt purchased solely as an investment.
Once we have your approval for the restoration plan, a deposit of approximately one third of the cost will be required, with the remaining amount due upon completion of the restoration. Fabrics are painstakingly chosen from Betsey’s extensive inventory of antique fabrics to match the ones on your quilt. The fabric must be the same date or older than your quilt’s. Fortunately, Betsey has a large inventory of both 18th Century Quilt Fabric and 19th Century Quilt Fabric, as well as 20th Century Quilt Fabric. The fabric must also match in color, shade, pattern, and type. For example, if a piece of blue plaid cotton from 1925 must be restored, then it must be with a cotton from 1925 of similar weave, in the same shade of blue, and it must be a plaid, not a floral, solid, or stripe. To use anything else would change the integrity of your quilt. Once all the necessary fabrics have been selected, our expert hand sewers begin the process of restoring damaged fabric. In most cases, the replacement fabric is cut and sewn to the exact size and shape of the damaged piece and invisibly applied on top of the original fabric (with the exceptions of heavy wools and embellished pieces). In this way, your quilt retains its original fabric as well as the restoration fabric. Lastly, any quilting lines are replaced, using the same stitch length and threads as the original. If your quilt needs batting, ties, or binding replaced, we use appropriately dated materials and mimic the stitching style of the original quilter for those restorations, as well. All restoration work is fully guaranteed, and sure to give you joy every time you look at your quilt and know that it has been given a new life to be cherished for generations to come. Betsey loves hearing from clients who call after receiving their restored quilts so she can “hear them smiling”!
Samples of Restoration Work:
To the right are some samples of our expert restoration work. Each picture shows the original section on the left and the restored section on the right. Whether pieced or appliqued, the dramatic difference between the damaged and restored sides demonstrates what is possible for your quilt.
To the right is an example of an appliqué quilt before and after.
Begin the Process:
Once you have decided to restore your quilt, we will need to see it in person to properly date it and evaluate the damage. It is impossible to give estimates, as every quilt is so unique, and the cost of fabrics vary according to their age and type.
To send your textiles to Rocky Mountain Quilts in the safest and
most efficient manner, please make note of the following steps:
1.) Address your package to:
c/o Betsey Telford-Goodwin,
130 York Street,
York Village, ME. 03909
Do not write Rocky Mountain Quilts on the address label, as this might draw attention to your valuable quilt inside.
Choose a sturdy box of the proper size. Do not force your precious quilt into a box which is too small, as the extra folding and pulling may cause additional damage to fragile fabrics. Conversely, putting your quilt into a box larger than needed will allow too much shifting and bunching during shipping.
Place your quilt in a plastic bag and secure it tightly before packing it into the box. You never know what weather conditions your package might encounter along its route to us, and a cardboard box is not waterproof. Remember, this is the one and only time you should store your quilt in plastic!
We recommend only shipping by FedEx. Please do not forget to request a signature required from your shipping company.
2.) Enclose a note with your:
Name, Address, Phone number and Email Address, along with a deposit check for $125; or $150 deposit for Crazy Quilts in silk or wool.
Note* If you decide to proceed with the restoration work, half of your deposit will be applied to that cost. If you decide not to proceed at this time with any restoration, your quilt will be returned by FedEx, using your deposit to cover the cost of pricing your quilt for restoration, photography and digital documentation of your quilt as required to cover your quilt under our insurance policy while in our care. If necessary we will contact you for any balance due for the return insured shipment of your quilt.
Note* If you are shipping your quilt only to be washed, please enclose a deposit check for the usual cost of washing listed above, Betsey will let you know if your quilt will be more, or $150 if shipping for an appraisal.
3.) Be sure to request:
A signed return receipt when shipping your package by FedEx. For your peace of mind, we will contact you when your package arrives.
Betsey will evaluate your quilt(s) and contact you to discuss further details, such as asking your permission to clean your quilt before sending it on to the restoration division and the cost involved for your restoration. At this time, Betsey will be able to give you a general time frame for completion. Please remember that all our work is guaranteed for both proper dating and craftsmanship, and no work will be started without your full permission. Feel free to call or email us with any questions before shipping your quilts. Finally, please remember that antique quilt restoration work is extremely time consuming and labor intensive, so we appreciate your patience while your quilt is with us.