Friday, January 21, 2022

Quilt Repair

Earlier this month a friend asked if I would repair a quilt for a one of her friends. I had already registered for Carole's "Well Loved Quilt Repair" workshop, so I happily agreed to look at the quilt. My friend dropped the quilt off at my house in a black plastic garbage bag - horrors! 

1975 lone star quilt
It turned out to be a huge king size lovely vintage lone star quilt and I fell in love with it immediately! I don't have anywhere to hang a quilt that big, so this terrible photo will have to do.

Notice how the fabrics in the star points are different? Clearly she ran out of some of the fabrics when she was finishing the star!

shredding fabrics

The diamonds are all hand pieced and hand quilted 1/4" inside each seam. Some of the fabrics (like the peach) are shredding and some still look brand new. All of the diamonds are securely stitched in place. 

The quilt was made by the owner's grandmother. I was told that the grandmother used to work hard in the morning so she could go to church in the afternoon on quilting days. In one of the corners is embroidered the date of 1975.

ghosts of stitches past
There is no quilting anywhere outside of the lone star, so the batting has shrunk and is unevenly distributed around the star. I can see by the indented lines that there used to be hand quilting everywhere. I felt so sad that the quilting was gone, and also happy that this quilt has been so well loved and used.

thread audition

I asked the owner what she wanted me to repair, and she just wanted me to sew together the seam that had come open.  Oh okay... that's easy. 

In the class with Carole I had the opportunity to hear her ideas of what it would take to fully restore this quilt (ie. how to fix the batting, quilting the empty areas, replacing the torn/worn fabrics, etc) so I was full of ideas when I called the owner. She indicated that she planned to hang the quilt over a bar in a safe place so she could still see it everyday and didn't want it to be restored. 

So I went ahead and hand stitched the hole closed. And I also stitched a few tiny repairs here and there on the binding. I put the quilt into a clear bag with a note to tell her what a treasure this quilt is and that my advice is to never wash it again as some of the fabrics are disintegrating. 

I highly recommend Carole's Well Loved Quilt Repair class. She also has a lot of advice on her blog posts - click here.  I feel inspired to fix up some of the quilts that my Granddog has loved!


Dorothy Matheson said...

What a lovely quilt and I am so glad that you did a repair on it. I have old quilts and should do repairs on them. My grandmother and great grandma just tied the quilts that they made. And these were well loved.
Rail fence quilts.
Dorothy Matheson

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my class! I wish she had let you re-quilt all that open area. Hanging it is not a great idea as gravity will pull it out of shape with all that unquilted area, and may damage those delicate fabrics more. But the client knows what she wants.

Jean said...

Good job on the repair. That can be delicate work, for sure.

Cheryl D. said...

It’s a beautiful quilt. Too bad the owner didn’t want it restored. But at least you told her not to wash it again. It certainly is a treasure.

Janet O. said...

Good of you to be willing to do the repair. I can barely seem to get a quilt of my own made, let alone repair someone else's. I think I lost my focus during COVID, but I have enjoyed seeing you still go at full tilt!
That is a lovely old quilt. Reminds me of the one I bought in a thrift store last year.

swooze said...

When I repai quilts I always do a little extra :)

sue s said...

I took Carole's class and am trying to get organized so I can begin doing quilt repairs. I traded pilates classes for repairs to a friend's quilt, but that's it so far. It's really a shame about the Lone Star but I'm glad she will enjoy it.

WAZOO! Quilting said...

I do quilt restoration and repairs here in Georgia. Carole is a wonderful quilter and all around good egg. Anyone interested in quilting should take a look at her blog, especially the 'Save my bleeding quilt' article. I love bringing back family heirlooms to their former glory, and seeing old tops and blocks finished into quilts for the families to enjoy. It sure beats having them stored in a box somewhere.
Susan Slaton
Wazoo Quilting