Well Loved Quilt Repair – Purple Sunbonnet Sue

Recently I finished up another hand repair of a well-loved quilt.  I really enjoy doing this, and love having people bring me these quilts.  This was Donna’s daughter’s quilt when she was a baby, and now the daughter was becoming a mother.  Donna wanted the quilt repaired so that her new grand-baby could cuddle with it too.  There were several larger tears in this vintage quilt, including this one that was just not going to take kindly to being repaired.  This tear was in four directions from a center hole.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

So, I had to get a bit creative this time. I ironed down the tears with a bit of very light fusible web just to hold them in place. Then, I made a yo-yo from a pink print to make a flower applique large enough to go over the entire area of damage. I pinned it into place with a dark purple center to go with the dress on the Sunbonnet Sue main appliqué.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

I stitched both down by hand.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

But, that dark center kept drawing my eye to it, when I wanted it to just be an accent to the main motif. So, I frogged off the dark purple and replaced it with a lighter purple, fussy cut flower.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Around the main appliqué, some hand stitching was needed to close up the gaps and small tears.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

After using a light fusible web on the longer tear in the background here, there was enough extra bulk in the background to make hand stitching with an over-whip possible.  Because the quilt is tied and not quilted, there was fabric to move around a bit.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

You can see the seam here, but that is better than a tear, and should hold up to at least moderate use.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

A few more stitches around the appliqué and that part was done.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

The pink border was pulling up from the white background in spots, so all those areas were hand stitched back in place.  All done, and didn’t take that long.  I finished the repairs in about 3 hours.  Now the little flower appliqué is a cute accent and the focus is the Sunbonnet Sue.

Well Love Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

I had to applaud her for wanting to pass on such a piece of living memory. For me, this is the true measure of how much a quilt is valued, to be worn out and repaired to wear out again. This has to be the highest complement any quilter can get!

If you are local and have a well loved quilt needing repair, my rates are very reasonable, and are charged by the hour.  I am also willing to do quilts mailed in, if you are willing to pay the postage both ways.  Just send me an email at frommycarolinahome at gmail dot com and let me know what you need.  Also, I have done posts on how I do repairs which you can read about in Repairing an Old Damaged Quilt and in Applique Quilt Repair if you would like some tips on repairing your own quilts.

Do you have a well loved fabric memory?

17 thoughts on “Well Loved Quilt Repair – Purple Sunbonnet Sue

  1. Linda B

    What a neat service to restore a well loved quilt! And clever cover for the worst tear. Every visit to my grandmother’s house included a time for us to go up to “Aunt Lulu’s Room” and my grandmother would lay out all the quilts she had worked on that year, and usually we would look at ones she had done earlier. Looking back, it was very much a ritual. Sometimes we would take one home with us. I have three queen sized quilts she did, one we did sort of together, and a worn twin quilt that was on my bed as a girl…I need to make a couple repairs on it. Have also recently been thinking of making a new one with the same pattern…

  2. awesome service! I agree quilts need to be loved and used when my Mom was still with us she made the most gorgeous quilts but never washed them never used them-sad to me

  3. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,

    An adorable repair! Clever to use the yo yo with the pretty fussy cut flower, that made the yo yo so much better and aproperate for Sun Bonnet Sue. I’m planning on printing out some of the repairs you have shown to use on my quilts I still have from my mother and grandmother. One of them is pretty worn and faded so I have had it put away for quite some time and want to hang it either on my banister or on a rod in my living room with a shelf over it with family pictures. I have several books on Sun Bonnet Sue and have wanted to make one and make a shaped Sun Bonnet girl to match her so some time, with it being so

    Hot nowadays that sounds like a great project to start on. Still working on my flowers and changing my patio around for now.

    Have a terrific day,


  4. I have a SBS quilt that my cousin’s grandmother made for her and then was handed down to my mother for me. I’m just waiting for one of her sons to have a baby do I can clean it up, put on a new binding and pass on.

  5. Rosemaryflower

    Fantastic work. It is kind of like surgery, isn’t it?
    I remember when I was working for those ortho surgeons, I did go back to school to get other premed out of the way and possibly become an ortho surgeon. Yes, that lasted about two years, then my life kind of changed direction.
    I think your surgical skills are excellent.

  6. I have an old quilt that was given to my parents by the ladies of the churches in my Dad’s first charge. They cherished that quilt, and it has a few tears that need repaired. My plan is to attempt the repairs myself, but I’ve been waiting till winter when things aren’t so busy around here. I hope I can repair it as well as you have done on your quilts!

  7. The yo yo flower is perfect, and the pinks look exactly right together too! I am fortunate to have a single bed quilt that my great grandma hand pieces and hand quilted when she was very old. I put it on the bed for summer company, and I love just looking at the fabrics knowing they were scraps from dresses and pajamas of hers and the family.

  8. Somewhere in the house I have a Sunbonnet quilt made for my daughter by my mother’s friend. I should look for it and display it. It may not have been done well, but there was a lot of love in it. It should be in excellent shape, since it was washed only once or twice. I never thought of getting it out for our grandsons.

  9. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole! This is a darling quilt and I can understand wanting to pass it on. I have saved several of my Daughter’s quilts that were made for her from both of her Great Grandmothers and one from her Grandma and Great Grandma. Only, I do not believe my Daughter will ever have children, yet I still hold onto them hoping. I like that you changed the dark center to the lighter center also, the lighter one does blend the extra applique into looking perfectly normal. That does not quite sound right, but I hope you know it is a compliment meant for you! Thank you for sharing all of your great advice on fixing repairs, it helps to encourage us to try it and be happy with the success! Have a great day!

  10. Jennifer Rauch

    I just love yo yos! I’d have probably scattered a few more around that quilt, since one is never enough for me!! Different subject: Remember the card making group I told you about? Today was their monthly meeting, & I am on creativity overload! Had made some cards for you . . . but wasn’t satisfied with one & just hated to send one I didn’t like! Asked the gals what they would do, & a couple said – tear it apart if you don’t like it, & use the parts for something else! So I did. AND the group has a habit of bringing their stuff – punches, stamps, papers, gizmos. . . & putting it on the table for anyone to take – a basket nearby is for donation, which they give to the Fire Dept. where we have the meetings. Win Win Win! I got some punch shapes & fancy paper I’ve been craving.

  11. Nice job! To extend the life of a quilt that is used and loved is a great thing. Eventually, they have to be retired, but one more little one will get to snuggle under this classic! @susansquiltstudio

  12. wazoo4u

    Susan here, down here in the Georgia mountains. I do repairs and restorations for customers, too, and enjoy seeing what you are up to. Right now, I am working on a quilt made entirely of polyester double knits!! Holy cow, is it heavy!! The customer and I decided the worn pieces (92 of them) don’t need to be replaced with the knit fabric, and we chose some odd looking florals from my stash for the squares. It will take a couple of months of hand sewing in the evening to get them all done. I also love bringing the old back to life, and making the keeper of the family quilt happy! Thanks! I love your quilting and gardening stories. Susan

  13. dezertsuz

    How wonderful to be part of something that rescues a torn quilt to be used again. What a sweet quilt it is, too.

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