Friday, July 25, 2014

Questionable Fabrics = Damage = How I Repaired It

I sewed this quilt top back in the summer of 2008.

Partial top during the process.

I finished the top and then it sat / hung in the closet waiting it's turn to be hand quilted.

About 2 yrs. ago I sandwiched and basted it.  Now it was ready to jump into a quilting hoop
or frame. I decided on the small PVC frame my hubby had made for me  w-a-y back when.

If I remember correctly, I placed the quilt in the frame and clamped the edges down, unclamped,
moved it around several times until I was happy with
the area I wanted to start quilting on.

As my eyes scanned over the quilt top while I threaded my needle




See here, above the safety pin.

All that clamping and re-clamping had mooshed the hard area of where the seams meet
resulting in the frayed damage to this old vintage fabric.

I just sat there in horror wondering how in the world was I going to fix this.  It was
ALREADY thread basted.  All systems were A GO!


Out of the frame it came and back into the closet where it was!  I was sad and upset!!
I was determined I WAS NOT going to unbaste it to repair it.  How oh how was I EVER going to fix this???
I was REALLY melodramatic about it.

So, about a month ago I brought it back out and was determined to find a way to repair it.
Here is what I did.

I fussy cut a piece of fabric.  Starting at the seamed edge I turned under the edge of my fussy cut piece and pinned it down to the damaged area.

I decided my silk thread would be thin and would melt into the repair job a lot better.

I stitched down my fussy cut repair piece following the seam edges turning under my repair piece like you would hand appliqué.  As I got to the inside of the section I trimmed and turned under, still appliquéing as I went creating a curved shape into the brown darker color.  I thought the repair would be hidden better stitched into the brown.  It may be like stitching through concrete when I hand quilt over it, but I guess I'll deal with that when I get to it.

Hardly noticeable from a distance.  ( i hope )

Here it is all repaired and ready to be hand quilted, and the saddest thing is it hung in the closet for 2 yrs. with me agonizing over it and only about 30 minutes to repair it.

It is now in my round lap hoop and I have already quilted several blocks.

The moral of this sad repair job is to LISTEN to that little voice that tells you "maybe you shouldn't use some of those fabrics.  Maybe there're too old.  It doesn't matter that they came from your Munner's vintage fabric stash."
Lots of the fabrics I used in this quilt were older than me and a little on the fragile side.  It was back when I first started quilting and I didn't know better….BUT I DO NOW!!!

This quilt is Bonnie Hunter's Boxy Star pattern.

Have you ever damaged a top/quilt before you finished it???


  1. Even when you finished repairing the tear and I knew where it was I couldn't find it. Good job. Show us how you're quilting the quilt next time you blog. I'd love to see. This is a great quilt, and I'm glad to see you finish it.-Barbara

  2. I just did a similar applique job on a quilt. I didn't notice my mistake in color placement until I had it partially quilted. It was for a job and had to be correct. So I appliqued the right color over the wrong. You are in good company.

  3. I so love this quilt! This pattern just might need to be put on my "to do list" :o)

  4. I've had similar issues. Glad you were able to repair and MOVE ON! Happy quilting! Love this one.

  5. Love you quilt. I made yhe same quilt but, my sashing was too busy. I undid all of the sashing and now I need to sew them together again. It has only been one year so far.

  6. Good advice about vintage fabrics. I think your patch will work great and wont even be noticed. It is heart breaking to come across a damaged area right when you are ready to start quilting.

  7. I haven't had to repair anything like this, but it made me wonder...
    If your heart says this is questionable fabric,
    Can you add some lightweight interfacing and make it stronger???
    Your repair is AWESOME!!

  8. Great repair. And yes, I've damaged a top before quilting. One time I snipped a hole in the top when I was snipping a thread. NEVER, I repeat NEVER, look up at someone talking when you are snipping - finish snipping and THEN look up. I did the same as you - appliqued a tiny piece to cover the hole - it worked out fine.

  9. Isn't that funny/frustrating? Why do we do that?
    Glad its fixed and on its way to finished.

  10. love it. no one will ever spot that repair unless you point it out OR they use the quilt a whole lot and spend time gazing up its loveliness. Go ahead and use those old fabrics - they are wonderful. If you have one that is sketchy, maybe stabilize it first with a light fusible.

  11. I am so glad you fixed it and are now quilting this quilt its a beauty. love the old fabrics but I agree with tonya treat them a bit by stabilizing them before you use them in a quilt.