Monday, August 4, 2014

Repairing an Old Quilt

At a recent flea market I was asked by one of the vendors if I could repair her old quilt for her. In my typical fashion I immediately said, "Sure!" Well, then I took a closer look and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I brought the quilt home with me knowing I had at least a few weeks to work on it as the vendor was going on vacation soon for two weeks. Turns out I got buried with school work and then left for my own two week vacation, so today was the day to bring it out and just do it!

I'm certainly not an expert at repairing old quilts as this was only my second one. I'm also not sure whether this the correct way to repair one, but it worked and so I'm happy with it.

It's an old, well-loved quilt that had a gaping hole/tear in it that was close to 8" across at the widest. I pulled some muslin out of my stash that was about the same color as the backing and cut two 8" squares and pressed the edges under 1/4" all the way around to use as patches on the front and back. 
I retrieved the quilting hoop from the closet where is has sat untouched until today and hooped up the area to be repaired. Then I placed the first patch onto the front and blind stitched all the way around, doing my best to keep it square while also pulling the torn area back into shape where it had been stretched. 
 Once the first patch was on, I marked the back at the four corners of the front patch with pins so I could place the second patch as close as possible to the back so they would be closely aligned.
 Then I placed the piece of batting over the actual hole and pinned it from the front so the pins wouldn't get caught inside the quilt as I stitched the second patch on. (I've been known to sew pins into things before--hems on dresses, forgotten pins in skirt gathers, etc. You get the idea. LOL!)
 Second patch lined up with the 4 corner points from the other side and I began stitching once again.
 Little blind stitches with a betweens #10 needle and Aurifil #50 did a great job of blending right in and not showing once the stitching was all done.
 The next challenge was to do hand quilting that matched what was already there. The main body was quilted with Baptist fans and the border with simple diagonal lines. I used a water soluble blue pen to mark the lines. Luckily the fans were still there around the hole so I was able to follow those lines and complete what had been torn apart. I used the same needle, but a waxed hand-quilting thread that had been recommended to me by a shop owner several years ago (nope, never did hand quilt that project). For my very first hand quilting, I'd say it's not bad! Because of the lumpy nature of the hole, despite trimming away some of the torn fabric & old batting, I ended up going up and down for each stitch, but luckily it was a small area. And here it is!
 All ready to go back to its owner who can love on it some more.
And now it's my turn to have some quilty fun. Getting ready to start a Row by Row pattern in hopes of getting 8 rows made into a quilt to turn in to one of the shops soon. Oh yeah, I had quite the adventure with my grandkids touring the country for two weeks and collecting rows from five states! More on that in the next post.

More snippets from the sewing room soon,