Repairing a well loved quilt is one of the things I really enjoy doing. Sometimes a quilt is just used to the point of falling apart, and really, what better tribute to a wonderful quilt than for the owner to wear it out? I’d much rather see that than a beautiful quilt wrapped in tissue and hidden in a drawer. Recently an applique quilt came to me for repairs, and I wanted to show a couple of techniques I used to give it more life.
Beautifully made by the owner’s grandmother, there is love here in every stitch. I was delighted that the owner brought it to be repaired before it was too damaged. Getting to these rips early makes it easier to repair.
Some of the appliques were lifting up, but not too many.
I began with the rips. First I ironed the sections to be sure there was still enough fabric remaining to support the repair. There was.
Next I cut a small bit of fusible web, making sure I had enough to cover all the ripped areas.
Turn back the edges and slip the fusible web under the fabric, and on top of the batting. I make sure that the webbing extends past all the ripped areas so the edges will fuse. The quilting wasn’t disturbed during this part, as the rips were not in a quilted area.
Press carefully, making sure the stray threads and edges are secured.
Now, satin stitch over the rip.
The webbing reinforced fabric is strong enough to stitch now, and the matching thread will make this hard to see at a casual look. It actually took us a minute to find the repair when she picked it up.
The appliques were hand stitched, being careful not to go all the way through the quilt. The quilt is hand quilted in white thread, with a white backing. I didn’t want any red or green thread to show. This quilt was so soft and warm, it was a joy to stitch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Since the appliques were already needle-turned, this part was relatively easy. I checked the rest of the appliques to be sure the others were still holding. All in all there were only about 8 that needed to be resewn. I’ll tell you a secret, I almost wished for more appliques to lift so I could work on it more, LOL!!
All done, and the owner was happy with the result. I advised her to have the binding redone at some point in the future as it is beginning to really wear thin. I did whip stitch a bit of it to hold for now. The great thing is she has lots of time to find the right fabric for a new binding that will keep the quilt usable for years to come. She can find something close in color, and wash it over and over, dry it in the dryer, and hang it in the sun until it fades to just the right shade and softens to the touch.
Do you have any well loved quilts?