By Tony Parra
Quilters were able to find out ways to repair their quilts or find out the best solution for a worn out or torn quilt during the Repair Old Quilts Demonstration at the 13th Annual New Mexico Ag Expo on Wednesday.
Lamoin Gentle had helpers hold up different examples of quilts in bad shape and gave repairing solutions to each quilt. Gentile earned her degree in Home Economics from Eastern New Mexico University and has attended national quilt shows to gain more knowledge.
Dorothy Britton of Portales watched the demonstrations and won a door prize after the event. The 89-year-old Britton said she has been quilting since she was 12 years old. Britton said her grandmother and mother also quilted and the skill was passed on to her and she passed it on to her daughter, Kathleen Turnbow.
She said the biggest change she has seen during her time as a quilter was the change from handwork to machine work.
“It used to be that machine-made quilts were not accepted at juried shows,” Britton said. “The quilts had to be handwork made. The quilts had to have 10 stitches per inch and mine had between 12 to 14 stitches per inch.”
Britton said one of the problems she has with keeping her quilts in good shape is that she doesn’t have a good place to store them. She said once she makes a quilt she gives it to her grandkids.
Gentle had one quilt displayed in which areas were the color was flaking, and she said there is not much the owner could do. She said the weighted silk has salt and it caused the silk to deteriorate. She said silk crepeline, a fine, nearly transparent fabric, could be used to repair the quilt, but it was an expensive option.
Gentle advised on a double wedding ring quilt top, not to wash it if it collect dusts. She said the best way to clean it is by laying down the quilt top then placing a fiberglass screen over the area which needs to be cleaned. The next step is to take a vacuum and clean the dust while the fiberglass screen protects it.
Quilts were on display throughout the Women’s Building on the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.