Green and Purple Quilt Repair

I am doing a few more repairs now, and recently received this one. The main damage was from being folded in one spot for years. Several of the green squares had holes, and one of the purple sections had multiple areas of damage. The owner wanted to be able to use it again.

The client provided the fabric for repair, as I have found this is the best way for clients to be happy with the choices. I made three large patches for the purple and pinned them in place.

The patches were top stitched on the edges.

I did the same with the green squares that needed them. Some areas looked like the fabric was weakening, so I treated those spots with a fray blocking solution.

Then I turned attention to the edges, and the corner with more extensive damage. After removing the frayed binding all the way around, the edge revealed weakness in the fabric where the binding had been sewn. Plus, there were holes and a tear on this corner.

On the backside of that corner, you can see how the damage extends to the backing.

The best thing is to remove a small bit all the way around the quilt. I cut off just under a quarter inch to remove most of the frayed and damaged section. Now I will be able to replace the entire binding, sewing to more stable fabric in the border and backing. This will make the new binding stronger, and the little bit taken away won’t be noticeable.

On the corner, I sewed an orange patch to the front, and folded it over. Then I top stitched the folded edge. Turning it to the back, I used the edge of the quilt as a guide, and stitched it down to provide a guide for cutting the patch.

Squaring off the excess, the patch is fully sewn.

I made a new binding and sewed it to the back first, then folded to the front and top stitched. I like this method as it allows me to see the stitching on the top and control where it goes.

All done, it is on its way back to the owner now. The lighter purple binding blends well with the faded purple patches.

I recently got a request to do a program on repairing quilts, which has me thinking about that. This is a really hot area for a quilter to make money. Few of us are willing to work on well loved quilts, and I don’t want to do as many as I have in the past. So, I am considering putting together a presentation on how to handle the problems I’ve seen over the past few years, and make it available as an in-person presentation or a Zoom class.

What do you think?

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33 thoughts on “Green and Purple Quilt Repair

  1. Cathie J

    I have always enjoyed reading about the fixes you have made on well loved or neglected quilts. I would certainly like to see a program on your tips.

  2. I am sure that there are a lot of people out there who could use that class. I am currently working on reviving an old family heirloom to be washed and used. I remember how you show before and after pictures so I stopped until I could get time to get a good before picture.It will take a little longer to get it useable but worth it

  3. CINDY BEAL

    Love seeing how you repair quilts. I am always amazed!!! That purple fabric is a perfect match to the old. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’ve been asked at times to repair damaged quilts but didn’t feel comfortable working on someone else’s heirloom quilt. I have made repairs on quilts I’ve bought at yard sales. I’m never sure if I’m doing it correctly, are there rules or just follow my instincts. I would love for you to do a zoom class. Once I bought an old quilt that was gathered up tight at one end, looked like shrinkage. Come to find out, instead of batting the quilter had used a ladies wool jacket (mostly disassembled), and the jacket had shrunk a lot. I’d love to know the story of that decision to use the jacket while the rest was batting. People really made do back in the day.

  5. Excellent repair. I think you are wise to have the owner chose the fabric for the repair, as they are the ones who will be looking at it over the years. It’s a good reminder to unfold our quilts and let them “breathe” for a bit. I have some vintage ones on a quilt rack that I am going to put out on the guest room bed for a few weeks, and when I do rehang I will change how they are folded. I think that would be a terrific program and class. If it was a class I would have the students bring their sorry looking quilt in with replacement fabric and you could guide them in the repair one to one.

    1. Laurie Montgomery

      Hi Carole! I am new to your blog and and fascinated with your article on repairing quilts. My daughter in law recently asked me to try to repair a handsewn quilt she received from her aunt as a high school graduation gift! As you mentioned in your article the binding is frayed all the way around and there is an abundance of thin and creating material throughout. I would love to take a zoom class with you!

  6. Sounds like a great idea. I enjoy reading about (and seeing the pictures along the way) the how and why of the repairs you do. When asked about reparing quilts, i have referred them to your blog. Happy Stitching!

  7. Carole, I would LOVE a class on quilt repair. My daughter has given me one that my mother made for her wedding 20 yrs ago. My mother passed away 5 years ago, and now my daughter just wants it repaired, not for daily use, but as a lasting keepsake from her grandmother. I would love to get some expert guidance from you.

  8. arlunde

    I think putting a presentation together is a wonderful idea. It would be great for older and newer damaged quilts. I have a 10 year old quilt that my puppy damaged by chewing on it in two places. I’d love to know how to nicely repair it. The work you did on the purple and green quilt was beautiful.

  9. Minnich Sallie

    Carole

    I would love to learn more about quilt repairing and have followed your repairs and have learned so much

  10. Hi Carole
    I think your idea about teaching quilt repair is fantastic. Have you thought about the possibility of publishing it rather than just teaching it? A book or video maybe? A video can always be part of any presentation.

  11. Donna

    Carole, I love seeing your quilt repairs! I can’t believe the mess you take and make it usable again but I am not interested in learning. I do not have the patience for it! Looks like a lot of people would love to learn though!

  12. Awesome repair job. This quilt is now ready to be enjoyed for generations to come. Great idea to teach a zoom class on how to repair quilts, as well as provide such a service. There definitely is a need for this skill and service. I also think this topic would make for a wonderful quilt guild presentation and workshop.

  13. Joan Sheppard

    The quilt looks wonderful! Absolutely do it! Do it for the people with actual problems, for the people who want to avoid problems and general knowledge. I have more than necessary number of quilts but when I change out winter for summer clothes I take all the quilts out of hiding, refold, hang some in the halls and dining room “Alice in Wonderland Clean Cup.” I try to change out the quilts that might be in sun or by a vent more often. But I would still love to hear more about keeping them in tact while using them.
    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    1. Oh mercy, that is a subject fraught with minefields.  Everyone you talk to will tell you the machine they chose is the best.  If you are interested in one, you need to test drive as many models as you can and buy the one that you are most comfortable with.  No one can tell you which one to choose.  You have to make your own decision based on what you need in a machine, what you want to do with it, what you can afford, and how it feels to use.

  14. Pat K

    I would like to see a class on vintage quilt repair. I have one that was gifted to me by a friend. It was her bed quilt as a child. It’s all hand quilted but has some very worn spots. Right now I just have it put away, but if it was fixable, I would display it. Must be about 50,years old.

  15. Nancy Schueren

    I love your idea of a presentation on how to repair older quilts or even some newer ones which are used a lot. I have two Cathedral Window pillows that need insets repaired. What would be the best way for me to make these repairs?

  16. AJ

    Yes, I would love to attend such a class. The steps to repair are interesting and useful.

    Would I ever repair an older quilt? Probably not, especially if I didn’t make it. Knowing how to rescue one, is invaluable if I needed to repair one of my treasures.

  17. thedarlingdogwood

    One of my guild members saw your post and sent it to my guild president as something they’d like to go to, and the president sent it to me since I’m in charge of programs right now. So I can guarantee you one program for sure 🙂 I’d love the presentation (and would book it for my guild) and I bet you’d get lots of people interested. I always love to see your repair posts.

  18. Carolyn A Thompson

    Carole,
    The quilt looks great.
    I would be interested in a zoom class of how to repair quilts.
    It’s personal. My son shared with me a few months ago, that his dog and ripped his quilt I had made him and wanted to know if I could repair it. This is very timely, because I don’t really know anything about repairing a quilt!!
    Thank you Carole.

  19. Jo Anne Seccurra

    Super job on this well loved quilt. I like the approaches you take to repairing the quilt.

    I think a Zoom class would be super as you can share your pictures via screen share. It’s a topic that I think would have wide appeal.

  20. JAX

    Your quilt repairs are so impressive; love the photos and details. Would LOVE a live or ZOOM class on repairs. What a great idea! Thanks!

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