As you can see, many seems have come undone. Fabrics have frayed and sometimes ripped, and some pieces are just plain old missing.
I've been told that all the fabrics are sentimental, they are from clothing belonging to someone in Rita's family and worn at certain events and Rita knows the story of each one. Also the quilt was put together by hand by her mum, who has now died. So I'm carefully going along in strips and re-stitching anything that needs it, without fiddling too much. I'm trying to keep as much original material and stitching as possible, and am trying not to make it obvious where I have been.
When I'm finished with the quilt top, I'm going to wad and back it properly and I imagine that will strengthen the quilt top throughout. With any luck it could then last another 40 years.