Dog vs Quilt – Repairing the Damage

Don’t you just love dogs?  They are bundles of furry love with doggie breath, and sometimes they like to chew on things.  Recently, I was contacted to repair a well-loved quilt that had seen its share of doggy attention.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Two of the corners were chewed off completely.  This one was on one end.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

This was the opposite corner.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The easiest thing to do was to simply cut off the most damaged area, as there wasn’t any of the original fabric to make new blocks.  Using a ruler and rotary cutter, I cut a straight line as close to the damage as possible.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The advantage of this is I now have bits of matching fabric to make the rest of the repairs.  I matched the corner color on the top, and the backing fabric on the back, placing the pieces right sides together with the quilt corner.  This is the first corner.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Sew a diagonal line across the corner, showing the second one.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Trim the original quilt past the new seam to 1/4 inch, and add a bit of batting to fill the corner.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Then, topstitch to define the corner and stay stitch the repair.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Trim to an even point, using the sides as guides.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The back looks nice too, with matching fabric.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I removed the original binding, and made new binding for the entire quilt, for consistency.  This was the quilt owner’s idea, as she wasn’t able to match the original binding color.  She had purchased a new purple fabric that worked well with the other fabrics in the quilt.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

It was sewed to the quilt front, then turned to the back and machine stitched.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

As I was doing the binding, I realized this hole would need to be repaired before finishing the binding as it was so close to the edge.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The top side of this hole didn’t have much damage, just a few threads missing.  I hand stitched those, but wanted to add a bit of stabilizer to the back since I could.  So, I added a bit of fusible web, and a circle of batting, then trimmed the stray threads.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Using another bit from the piece I cut off, I matched the backing color and made a patch.  This was sewn by hand.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

All done with the hand sewing, it is barely noticeable.  I pressed it from the top side to be sure the fusible web adhered.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The binding went over the edge of the patch as it was so close to the edge.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I then made patches for the other torn areas.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

After the patch applique, two more tears fixed on the top side.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Then this one on the back was stabilized in the same way as above.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Here it is after the applique.  It really helps to have the matching fabric, as this doesn’t show at all from any distance.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

So, now if you really look closely, you’ll see one edge has fewer squares in the border.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

But it really doesn’t show to the casual view.

Damaged Quilt Repair at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Now there is one more happy lady who has her quilt back.  And one more dog that has to find a new chew toy.

What are you working on now?

If you have a quilt needing repair, see my page Well Loved Quilt Repair at the top of the blog.

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34 thoughts on “Dog vs Quilt – Repairing the Damage

  1. lynn bourgeois

    What a great job to restore the quilt so well. I looked at the pictures and thought “Oh no!” but the finished repaired quilt looks just fine. A big round of applause for you. I’m clapping even though you may not be able to hear me Carole.

  2. You did a really good job. Thanks for all of the tips and pics. I have 5 well-loved quilts that are over 50 years old. My mother bought them from some women in a housing project. They are totally made of scraps and not the best of fabrics but my boys remember those quilts well. I recently washed them and they didn’t come apart so maybe there is hope for repairing them (for display only from now on!)

  3. I enjoy seeing your repairs. My daughter just got a puppy, but so far she is leaving all quilts and afghans alone. She has destroyed her own bed, but not her fleece blanket. I hope that continues. I am glad that you were able to salvage this pretty quilt.

  4. Barbara

    I love all the different lessons you share. Thank you for taking the time with each project to share the steps you used. Barbara

  5. NancyA

    Great repair job! I really appreciate your sharing of the process so well—in case (heaven forbid!) I ever need to do a repair like that.

  6. KJ

    You did a fabulous job repairing such a well loved quilt. Thanks for taking us through the process. Personally, I wouldn’t have gotten past cutting off the major damage area.

  7. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, You did a magnificent repair job on this quilt! Just cutting it straight off and repairing with patches and new binding were all great solutions and the quilt looks fabulous once again! Our beloved fur babies do cause damage. We had a quilt for years that slowly got ruined by Miss Dodgers Nails. It was really quite insane how the damage was not really seen and then just all of the sudden it was in horrible condition. Now we keep another blanket over the top of our quilt. Thank you for sharing and for showing us how to repair damage! Have a fantastic day!

  8. Edi

    Thats a lucky lady. I had to re -embroider a block in a quilt that im hand quilting. I counted myself blessed that it was only one.

  9. dezertsuz

    Gosh, I wish I had known you years ago when I DID have a dog and he DID chew a favorite quilt gift! But now I don’t have dogs, and my son has cats. They can do their own kind of damage, but he put his quilts away and just has a cheap coverlet on the bed. Your repair is remarkable.

  10. Hi Carole, I repaired a quilt like this a few years ago! The customer still had some fabric, so I re-did the affected areas and appliquéd them in. What is it with dogs chewing the corners? The one I did was all flannel, and I had quilted it for her a few months earlier…a re-visitation, of sorts. I love it when the quilt looks good as new and the customer is happy! Great job with this one.

  11. sharon schipper

    You do such careful thoughtful work, beautiful.
    I’m doing a hand project, using collars and cuffs off my late husband’s shirts. I cut the shirts apart years ago, plan on a lap quilt for me. haven’t used it, but saw a thoughtful project to make a tree wall hanging out of the collars and cuffs fabric, basically turning them in to layers of 60 degree whatever’s as close to a triangle as I can get and the layering covers up the top. I think I will end up with about 4 feet by 4 inches wide, and I have star buttons to put on randomly. The original I saw had an adorable tiny yo yo wreath made out of tiny bits of the leftover fabric and I plan on that as well. About 50% finished, the tree part is almost done, just the embellishment and a few rows to go… The fact it isn’t traditional christmas colors means I will leave it up all year I’m thinking… I have the spot chosen.

  12. Jody

    Fabulous job! I want to keep the post for reference! I thankfully have never had one like that to repair but much of how you did it could be applied in many situations.

  13. Irena

    What a great repair job. I will. Keep this handy. As my daughter has 3 dogs. So far no torn quilts. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  14. Lindi Schneck

    Can you please tell me what year you started Scrap Dance Tango? I think it was 4 years ago but I cannot find it in my log. I would like to make a label for mine that is almost finished.
    Thank you, Lindi

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