Severely Damaged Quilt Repair – Part 2

Continuing with the repair from the previous post (Severely Damaged Quilt Repair), now the time consuming part of the repair began – the hand work.  Lifting up the edge of the new backing, you can see some of the damage once again.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

The new muslin backing is pinned to the edge so I can bring the binding over the edge, at least in those areas where the binding was detached.  I re-pinned some areas to make the edge line up with the raw edge of the original quilt.  This will allow the loose binding to cover the edge and appear more finished.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

I hand stitched the binding back into place over the new muslin.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

There was another rip below the new backing, that I initially thought I could repair by hand, but decided this would do better with a muslin patch.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Close up, you can really see the damage.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

So I added one more small piece and pinned it to the back, tucking it under the main piece of new muslin.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Along the edge of the quilt where the new backing is now attached, the binding was pulled over the edge and hand stitched. Then I hand sewed the seam between the two new pieces of muslin, and hand whipped the edge of the extra patch down.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

All around the quilt, the binding was coming off in even more places, so all of this needed to be restitched.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

So, I re-positioned what was left and hand stitched it.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

There were also a couple of rips on the top that had to be sewn closed by hand.  The tulle is visible here to help stabilize the section where the top fabric is gone.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

At the bottom of the quilt, I found another hole.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Repaired with just hand stitching, as this one wasn’t anywhere close to the area with the new muslin.  The repair had to be hand stitched on the top too.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

And then, yet one more hole, up to now unseen.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Stitched closed, this one didn’t go through all the layers.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Stitching finished, the tulle was trimmed close to the stitching.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

On the backside, the top edge now has new muslin backing with stitching in the ditch and some hearts to hold the layers together.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

The top side looks a lot better too.  But, great care will need to be taken in the future.  I gave her a full page of written instructions on how to care for it in the future, and never to wash it in a washing machine again.  It is now too delicate to withstand any further abuse.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

The bottom end doesn’t look bad at this point, so she can display it on a bed.  If she puts it on a bed, and puts pillows over the repaired end, it is pretty usable still.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

Sad to see such abuse on such an exquisite, likely very expensive commissioned, queen size, hand quilted treasure.  I know I like to see quilts used instead of put into drawers wrapped in tissue paper, but this was a bit beyond that.

Severly Damaged Quilt Repair at From My Carolina Home

The lady said that when she gets it back, it isn’t going back to the daughter. Instead, it will be carefully displayed on her own guest bed from here on.  I hope so!!   She has two more she is planning to bring, but she assures me they aren’t this bad.  This one was a challenge, but so gratifying to bring it back to a usable state.  Ready for the next one!

If you have a quilt needing repair, see my page Well Loved Quilt Repair  before emailing me.

30 thoughts on “Severely Damaged Quilt Repair – Part 2

  1. Linda Hodges

    You seem to have done a marvellous job with the repair. I’m sure it will be appreciated by your client. I think that is the worse kind of damage I have ever seen on a quilt, even some of the oldest ones I have seen have not been so bad. Congratulations to you.

  2. Pat

    I was wondering if your client would return the repaired quilt to the destructos! Good decision on her part.
    Your repairs are impressive. Congrats.

  3. You are definitely a miracle worker! I’m glad it will be gently cared for & loved. I would love to see the care instructions you gave her. I have wanted to create some general instructions since we can’t just assume everyone knows how to care for a quilt.

  4. Donna

    You did a fabulous job! So glad this quilt is going to a home that will appreciate it and take care of it!

  5. Kathy A

    I hope her next gift to the son/daughter-in-law or vice versa is a commercially made quilt that will be OK to destroy! Your hand work and restoration was amazing!

  6. OH my you do love a challenge, Carole. That was the most incredible save I have ever seen, I would have thrown up my hands in despair! Well done! I hoped you charged what you are worth for that!

  7. Sharon Schipper

    fabulous, Carole! So glad she’s keeping it herself and putting it on safe display. I know I give quilts to be loved and used, but one of my first complicated ones, a very intricate grandmother’s fan I did for a friend’s third baby, it irked me to see it tossed on the ground or wooled on by the other children. I’d hand quilted and tied that one too. I THINK I got over it, but would love to know if, 25 years later, it’s still in the family and not in a dog’s bed somewhere. Wonderful to see the hard work and careful conservation. Got to get some tulle!

  8. Marsha

    I hope the lady enjoys it many more years. I was surprised that new binding wasn’t applied but I know nothing about restoring a quilt. So amazing to me that you could save it. Great wonderful work.

  9. Karen F

    After all the money and time invested in this quilt, it would be a crime to return it to the daughter and her husband. It took real work and dedication on their part to destroy that quilt in seven years. If they got it back, it wouldn’t take seven months before it had to be thrown away.

  10. Melanie

    So comforting to know the maker will use it carefully and appreciate it once again! Good job, Carole. BTW, I was informed by a quilt appraiser that when replacing a worn binding on an old quilt to sew it over the old binding, not removing it. Interesting, isn’t it? Just to let you know in case this issue comes your way. For some reason, this preserves the value in the future.

  11. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Miracle Quilt Repair Super Hero, Carole!!! I have been reading every one’s comments and I am in amazement and awe at the spectacular job you have done at repairing this quilt! I also hope that I remember the tulle when I come across one of my old quilts (the ones meant for complete wear and tear) that the tulle does such a magnificent job in holding in the remains. I know that did not come out the way I meant for it to. Sorry Carole…I really was trying to give you another excellent compliment for coming up with the solution that would help. Thank you for sharing your love of repairing quilts and the fascinating ways that you are able to. They are great interesting posts! Have a great day!!

  12. Rosemaryflower

    Dr Carole, the reconstructive surgery was a success! I know it was a lot of work! It does look wonderful! You made your friend very very happy

  13. Kudos for your perseverence to bring this treasure back to a usable state. Good to hear it won’t be in the hands of the quilt destructors again.

  14. Mildred Plaskett

    Beautiful work. I hope the other quilts she brings for repairs are not in the same shape. I could never do all the repairs you made – Good job.

  15. Your work was very time consuming not to mention the great work you did. I have done very minor repairs for a friend and she mentioned she would give my name if others asked. Now the awkward question. How do you decide on a price? – Robin

  16. Amazing job you have done repairing this quilt. Glad to read that it has a “future home” in a place where it is respected. You clocked some serious hours on this project! I imagine the owner is grateful !

  17. Your repair job was amazing. However, I disagree where this quilt should go to live out it’s remaining years. Considering it was a gift in the first place, I think the lady should return it to her daughter. As quilters we work hard and long on our projects but once we gift them, they are no longer ours and their future now rests with the recipient. Perhaps, she should include the bill for the repair when she returns it along with the list of washing instructions. At any point, the quilt maker should feel blessed that this quilt was used and well-loved which is something we want. I’d rather see my quilts in shreds than neatly folded in a closet and never used. It just means I need to get busy and make another one.

  18. Illy

    I am relieved and you have given me new courage.
    I have taken on a quilt repair but when I saw how daunting it is well, I was shocked it was in the same state as yours in the pictures.
    I have spent the last 3 hours taking off the remains of leaves that I will replace.
    Now I see it’s possible to replace and repair the Muslin I will do my very best.
    I am taking pictures along the way.
    Kindly Lily

  19. Gloria Elswood

    I found this as I am trying to repair a quilt given to me by my grandmother in 1962. We used the quilt on our bed for several years and it is directional so the top was always the top. It was getting a little ragged and so I folded it and put it in the cedar chest where it sat for probably 20 years. I am now 75 and trying to downsize and found the quilt. The top was so bad that I cut off the scallops and made it straight. Then I found another tear farther down (on the end that was tucked in.) I can repair the back using your muslin method but the front is a pattern I will never be able to match. Most of the fabric is there but a little ragged. I am thinking that I should put new batting and then muslin and then iron the “rags” onto the new muslin. My question is should I put tulle over the “rags”? It is approximately 2 inches square. There is also another tear just below which is straight. THANK YOU for any help you can give. I would send a photo but don’t know how. If it would help perhaps my daughter could help me. The quilt fabric is cotton and the batting looks to be cotton but is lumpy. Thanks, Gloria

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