Surgery and Resuscitation (Of the Quilt Variety)
I’ve mentioned how well-loved my very first quilt has been in the hands of its owner. He finally let his mom send it back to me for some therapy after the binding ripped, so I got a chance to see just how badly it’s held up over the past three years (mind you, of very extreme use). I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:
The places in the center where the fabric is missing are where I used silk. Lesson learned there. The rest of the center has a few split seams but is in decent shape otherwise. The inner border has issues on both seams. Thankfully, the back is in much better condition—a few of the rips from the front around the inner border are also present on the back, but they aren’t bad. Mostly, the back just shows how badly the quilting itself held up.
When I first looked at it, I didn’t think I could rehabilitate the front at all. But over the course of a few days of contemplation, I managed a plan.
First, I patched all of the missing silk pieces with an off-white cotton (stashed Moda Bella Etchings Stone if memory serves). I cut the patches slightly larger than needed, then used a three-step zig-zag to secure it, going over other loose seams while I was at it. It’s not the cleanest solution, but it is sturdy, quick (I was on a deadline), and gives it character. I added more colorful patch to the bottom corner where there was a small hole, and a couple to the back where holes had gone all of the way through the quilt.
Because the borders were in such bad shape, I decided to completely cover them with new fabric by thinking of the quilt as a giant quilt-as-you-go block. First, I replaced the inner border with a yellow flannel from my stash. Then, I made the outer borders with a brown flannel that is very similar to the one I used originally. I sewed the seams for both with the three-step zig-zag to better hold the holey fabric below, then topstitched over them with the same stitch for even better holding-power.
I stitched a line of quilting through the outer border to secure it to the back, bound it with more of the brown flannel, and called it good. The binding isn’t the best job, but is secure. Hopefully its owner will let it get some rest in favor of his newer quilt, but at least it’s in stable condition again. A lot of threads need to be trimmed from the failing quilting, too, but I haven’t done that part yet.
Coming soon: photos of the quilt for his sister that I should have finished this week, but alas, will have to wait another week or two.
One Response to “Surgery and Resuscitation (Of the Quilt Variety)”
8:05 am | 02/14/14
Now, that’s quilting the old-time way–use and repair can make a quilt more interesting, and warmer, too. This one has a future as a beloved keepsake.