Well Loved Double Wedding Ring Repair

I decided to suspend my quilt repair service for the time being, at least while this pandemic is escalating. The last quilt I accepted was from a local lady, and I got it from her in early December, letting her know it wouldn’t be done until January. So, I finished up the other customer projects, and some of my own, and was able to get it done this past week. When I began working on it, I was amazed at how well it was constructed. The maker put a layer of fabric between the top and the batting, so as patches disintegrated, the batting stayed put. It is all hand pieced and hand quilted.

I began by making a template of the patch size and shape, and cut out new patches from the fabric provided. The patches are cut with a 1/4-inch seam allowance all around the edge. Then, the raw edge was pressed under to the wrong side.

After doing the last hand repair, I have decided never again. All repairs will be done by machine. This time, I used a zigzag stitch for many of the patches to reduce stress on the existing fabrics and hold down the edges of the patches. The owner said it was precious to her father, and he just wanted to be able to use it again. He didn’t care if the stitching showed or how it was repaired.

A rip in the middle of a large yellow patch was pretty wide. Too much was frayed to be able to put them together again.

So, a patch went over just the rip, leaving as much of the original showing as possible.

I stitched it down with a zigzag stitch.

There were several popped seams, this one may have come open before a washing, as the edges were beginning to ravel.

I pressed the fabric, and it wasn’t as bad as it seemed at first. Due to the shrinkage of the fabrics during washing, it was possible to refold the seam allowance and get one edge folded over the other.

Pinned down.

Then sewed with a zigzag stitch. I treated the seam area with a fray blocking solution to prevent it from coming apart.

More patches cover disintegrated fabrics.

In this spot, there is a small hole in the red print. It isn’t bad enough to warrant a full patch, but there is not enough fabric to fold over either.

I treated the edge with fray blocker, let it dry, then zigzag stitched it.

On another seam, the thread broke, but the patches were in great shape.

So this time, I did a straight stitch to minimize the visibility of the repair.

I did the same with another popped seam.

Then a few more patches are sewn in place.

It only took a few hours, and it was done. The customer did such a great job of choosing her repair fabric, it matches the colors in the quilt well. Several patches are in this view, and I have a hard time finding them. They are not the dark blue ones that your eye will pick out first.

It is a beautiful quilt, and now it can be used and enjoyed for a long time to come. I gave the customer a sheet of instructions on how to wash it if it needs it in the future. If you’d like a copy, download How to Wash Your Vintage Quilt.

What are you working on this week?

Get Fray Check at Fat Quarter Shop

Or use the softer Fray Block from Amazon.

30 thoughts on “Well Loved Double Wedding Ring Repair

  1. Thanks for sharing. I currently have a somewhat vintage quilt to repair. It is my daughter-in-law’s. A simple 9-patch but some of the solids used were wovens and they have pulled apart. It was tied with baby yarn and has very little of the 100% cotton batting left inside it. I managed to find replacement fabric in my stash that is almost exact in the colors, so all I need to do is patch it. I though about machine stitching it but I think I am going to try hand work at first. It won’t get a lot of wear after it is completed. Just a family heirloom. I enjoy seeing your quilt repairs and thoughts on the process.

  2. patsystitch@gvtc.com

    A beautiful quilt. I have a quilt my Mom made and it has some rips in it. Thanks for showing how to repair an old quilt.

  3. Rita S

    Thanks for sharing your repair of quilt tops. Just after Christmas I too repaired a quilt that my husband grandma or mother made. It had several woven fabrics that frayed beyond repair. I cut them out and found fabrics in my stash that had the same value. Then had to pull out several of the thread that was used to tie the quilt. It’s done and hanging on the quilt rack now again.
    Thanks again for all the hints.

  4. Julie

    Today I’m quilting the borders then binding a jelly roll quilt. IMO this style of quilt looks best with an edge to edge longarm design. It took a while to tell me what to do on my DSM, but we had a meeting of the minds & I’m happy with what was decided.

  5. Katrina

    I am so happy to see so many repair examples b I have my great-grandmother’s quilt and I am the one who messed it up. I have had it since I was 18 or 19 yrs old and just threw it in the washing machine once. It caused a couple of seams to unravel. I think I am going to start trying to repair it this week.

  6. yvettechilcott

    I’m not sure I’ll ever tackle a quilt repair, but I really enjoyed your post. The owner of the quilt did a great job of choosing the fabric, and you worked a miracle.

  7. Anita Barra

    Thank you for your description of the repair to the precious quilt. I have a pretty “grandmother’s flower garden” quilt I purchased at a thrift shop. It’s done with hexagons in thirties fabrics. I have no history on it, but the maker did beautiful work. It has areas deteriorating I will now try to repair after reading about your repairs. I have to accept that the repairs are to save the quilt, not bring it back to its original beauty.

  8. Charleen

    I have a question about Fray-Check. I thought it washes out but many have said they used it for repairs. Can you clarify for me?

  9. Kim J LeMere

    I so appreciate all the pictures with your repair on this treasure. It helps me when I do some repairs on a vintage quilt for family members. Being fixed means one can continue to use it as it was intended to be used not saved. I will have to get some fray check, what a great idea.

  10. Ruth Coleman

    Your repair skills always amaze me. I am sure the owners really appreciate it. They can use them again.

  11. Joan Red

    Loved the education on how to repair quilts…I have several that require attention to be usable, including laundering and repair. My sewing skills are week & I physically cannot launder as you recommend. I realize you are no longer accepting repair requests. Do you know of others that can provide this service?

  12. Echoing Ruth’s sentiment posted above. Your repair skills always amaze me. Thank you for the washing directions too. That will be a great resource.

  13. Joan Sheppard

    So much great info! Never though of a under layer for a pieced quilt. The quilter really wanted this to last. What a nice family, he want to remember and the daughter is kind enough to make it happen. I’m guilty of throwing a quilt in the washer. One of the kids got sick and I just pitched it in the washer. Got lucky no damage. But never again. I love repairing on a winter day. Lay the quilt on my legs, pop in a video and before you know it, it’s done. Sometimes I get nutty and do some embroidery to cover an odd shape. But only for myself. I love what you did for that family.

  14. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Great job on the repairs! You are a much braver soul than I to take on quilt repairs, either by machine or hand!!

  15. Jo Anne Seccurra

    I am intrigued by quilt “archeology.” The detail you shared about the additional fabric layer between the top and the batting led me to think about the reasons a quilter might do this e.g. to keep the batting from bearding through the top, to keep cotton seeds from staining the top, to prevent show through, to make it stand the test of time or to add another layer of warmth. Or maybe the underlayer had the pattern printed on it. Or perhaps there are secrets printed on the inside:) I’ve only done it once…on a white background quilt with cream batting…the mom wanted a bright white background.

    You did a super job on the repair! I applaud you for taking on a project that requires so much attention to detail. I am sure the family appreciates what you have done! You rock!

  16. thedarlingdogwood

    I always like seeing your repair posts. It’s great that you were able to give this quilt more life! Thanks for the info on washing vintage quilts!

  17. Susan Nixon

    I know he’ll be happy to have it back, and not disintegrating any further. What a wonderful thing to do for someone.

  18. Rita C.

    Very nice repair work, Carole. I downloaded your suggested way of washing quilts. My sisters and I have used Retro Clean.It works well. Restoration Powder is another I used after winning in a giveaway.

  19. Kim Moore

    I just took the quilt top that my grandmother made by hand when she was expecting my mother to a group of ladies that hand quilt. The quilt top is 88 years old and in pretty good shape except some of the scalloped edges will have to be replaced or appliqued over. The repairs, hand quilting along with new backing and batting will run around 500.00. I love the quilt. It is a double wedding ring and I needn’t feel like this is a good investment.

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