Silk dupioni patches with tapestry and heavier upholstery patches are not the best compatible pair for a heavily used quilt. As this shredded seam on the silk dupioni shows, the lighter weight fabric always takes the brunt of the stress, and dupioni tends to ravel. When a lady brought this to me for repair, I looked it over carefully, and discovered that the top of the quilt was larger than the bottom, tied and not quilted. So, there was enough play in the top to be able to do a good repair. Underneath the largest tear, the batting had come apart as well, splitting fairly evenly as if it was cut. This repair would need to be done all by hand, but it was doable.
Lifting up the top side to look inside, you can see the batting split is huge.
Using pearl cotton, I did a mattress stitch, biting deep into the batting to pull the edges together.
Using a long tapestry needle helped.
I cut a piece out of the seam allowance that was almost completely detached to do a test of a fray-check solution. My personal preference is for the Dritz Brand Fray Check available at Fat Quarter Shop, or June Tailor Fray Block. There are a bunch of other brands in multi-packs available at Amazon, like this one Prym Fray Check 2 Pack. Just do a search if you want another brand. Anyway, I used this little bit to soak the edge in the fray check solution, and let it dry overnight, to be sure it wouldn’t stain or change the color of the silk. It did fine.
So, I put a line of solution on every loose edge, and let it dry overnight.
The next day, I turned the edge under, and hand sewed the seams using tiny stitches.
So far so good, the needle is a bit tougher to push through the treated edge, but I am sure the repair will hold.
First patchwork finished, I moved on to the other areas that looked the same before with frayed silk.
It only took about three and a half hours total time to do all the bits that needed work. I cleaned up the tapestry as well, shaving off the pills and treating small areas that the thread fibers had ‘run’, and threatened to do more damage.
The owner seemed pleased that her beloved quilt was back in her hands usable for the rest of the winter.
If you have a quilt needing repair, see my page Well Loved Quilt Repair at the top of the blog. Do you have any well loved quilts? What are you working on?
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