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.
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.
I stitched both down by hand.
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.
Around the main appliqué, some hand stitching was needed to close up the gaps and small tears.
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.
You can see the seam here, but that is better than a tear, and should hold up to at least moderate use.
A few more stitches around the appliqué and that part was done.
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.
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?