Saving a Special Quilt from Fire Damage

On March 28, 2015, my brother’s house was destroyed by fire. And I do mean destroyed–there was almost nothing left. Many things were literally vaporized, never to be seen again. Fortunately, all of the humans and four-legged fur creatures were safe and sound, although my sister-in-law and nephew made it out without even their shoes. Miraculously, some of the many quilts that were made by my grandmother, mother, and myself were salvaged. They were in cedar chests which were scorched on the outside, but the quilts inside survived with minor damage. Those cedar chests were on the top story of this house, which is gone. This is a back view of the house just after the fire.

View from the back-600


One of the favorite quilts that I had given them was displayed on a chair in the front entry. It was damaged, but not completely destroyed. And it’s a salvage project that I will work on this summer. There is still fabric in my stash from the original quilt. The quilt aged significantly from the fire and subsequent cleaning, so the fabrics will not match exactly. This is what it looks like now.

Full view of quilt damaged by fire.
Full view of quilt damaged by fire.

There are six blocks on the bottom half of the quilt that survived intact. The goal is to make a wall hanging from those blocks. Because of the damage to the binding, the edges will be trimmed a bit, but the wall hanging may exist with even some of the damage intact.

Here’s a closeup of damage to the binding–and in the full picture, you can see along the sides and bottom edges how the binding is frayed.

binding detail-600

And this is a picture showing the quilting I had done on this quilt. It was all done free-hand on my old Nolting Hobby Quilter.

quilting detail-600


And I would like to express my appreciation to the community of support for my brother and his family which has been incredible. I have never seen anything like the level of support they have received from friends, neighbors, and even members of the community they didn’t know very well before.

6 Replies to “Saving a Special Quilt from Fire Damage”

  1. Oh wow, so glad everyone got out ok… It is not easy restoring a quilt but I am sure you will do a fabulous job.

  2. I am amazed that this quilt survived at all. I think leaving a bit of the damage is a fitting tribute to the fact the family made it out alive- and that the quilt survived too.

  3. Thank God they are all safe. I have always felt that a fire would be devastating in that there would be so many things that you could never replace. They are fortunate to have you – you do such beautiful work, Marjorie!

  4. I am so sorry this happened to your brother. That is terrible. Obviously glad all got out safely. What a mess to clean up. How will they ever remember what was lost in the fire.

  5. So thankful that all are safe. That is the most important thing!! The rest can be handled !! I’m glad that so many memories were saved! I know you are glad for that but sad for those that were lost! You all will continue to be in my thoughts!

  6. Oh Marjorie. so sorry this happened to your brother’s home…how tragic! Thank God everyone was safe! What caused it? Good luck w the quilt…amazing it survived.

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