Friday, July 22, 2016

State of affairs or should I say repairs!

Quilt repairs. Never a pretty sight. Takes a long time and no one likes to do it. Yet if the quilt is a treasured heirloom, well then repairs must be done.

I like the story of one quilt that I saw recently at Quilt Canada. It was a beautiful quilt. Red background, hand quilted and hand appliqued. It was HUGE.   The pattern is Aunt Millie's Garden by Piece 'O Cake.  

Aunt Millie's Quilt
But what is even more fun about this quilt is the story behind it.  Joan Dorsay is the maker of this particular quilt and here is her story.  Hopefully you can read it.  And check out the title - Not Now, Maybe Never.

Joan's story about her quilt
She did an amazing job and won a prize for her fabulous efforts.

First prize in her category

Exquisite workmanship

Do you agree with her?  Absolutely - 100%!   If someone I knew wanted a quilt and had pets - I'd made a quilt with 6 inch squares and an overall design. End of story!

Now let's have a look at the repair that I'm doing. I had removed the binding and time to trim.  There were about 5 or 6 spots along the edge that needed repairs. I wanted to trim them all away, but that would have cut too much of the border away.  I ended up trimming between 1/4" and 1/2" off the edge of the quilt and that eliminated all but one problem area. The border wasn't trimmed even the first time and that's why what I trimmed off was wonky, but the border is straight now!

What got trimmed away

The binding was only 2" wide which is too narrow for my liking, but NO CHOICE.  I took a much narrower seam than I normally do.

Sewing on the binding to the front of the quilt
Now here's that one spot that couldn't be fixed by trimming the quilt. You see that I would have had to trim another 1/2" off the border and that would have been too much just to fix one spot.

One area that still requires repair

The teeth marks are still in the batting!

I took a small scrap leftover from joining the binding and laid it underneath the tear in the top. Then a small bit of fusible on top of the scrap. Then it got ironed together.

Repairing the hole with fusible and a scrap
It's not perfect, but half of it will be covered by the binding and the rest of it is fused down so it shouldn't unravel. It's not a perfect fix, but if you didn't know there was a hole, you would never find it on this quilt.

The repair
Then back to sewing the binding on.  I turned the last corner and the big question was - did I have enough binding. I had to join the binding about 4 times (necessary because of holes in the binding). The quilt was smaller by a bit so it was a guessing game if there would be enough.

Sewing the last side

And this is how much I was short.  The distance between the arrows.

Short of binding

But WAIT!   There was one more small piece that I didn't join because it was only 8 inches or so. However it was necessary to use it.  It looks like it might just solve my binding shortage problem. The top arrows show the extra piece, the bottom arrows show what I need plus two joins.

One extra piece of binding - will it be enough?

Once I joined that piece and sewed it onto the quilt, I measured the overlap to make the final join.  NO WAY!!!!   It was a PERFECT fit.  Well I could have trimmed 1/8" off!!!!   That was just luck!  Absolute LUCK!

Just enough to make the final join!!!!
I did have backup fabric that I got from Joyce - just in case.  But it wasn't necessary for this part of the repairs.
Backup fabric
Then it was onto the hand stitching. My favourite thing. Don't get me wrong, I love hand stitching.  But this was a big quilt.  I decided to measure it so I could really appreciate the size. I'll tell you that number in one minute.

However, I decided that I didn't need to be quite so neurotic with my hand stitching and the bigger stitches (not so big, but bigger), are not noticeable and I was able to get TWO sides of the binding hand stitched down in ONE EVENING.  WOW - that's a record for me!!!

Contrasting thread - can you see the stitches????

Here is the back of the quilt. I laid it out to see how many holes went through the backing.  About three!

The back of the quilt
And in case you want to see the front - this is what it looks like.

The front of the quilt

Now how big is that quilt???   Any guesses?????  It's 106" square!!!!!   I know - I didn't realise that it was that big, but no problem  - I'm still good with my quoted time.  OK, maybe a bit more time to do this hand stitching than I originally estimated, but not much.  I'm good with that.  It's another good learning experience.

Don't forget to pop out to see the Quilts at the Creek this weekend.  And why not stop by at 2:30 for my walking tour.  Yes - it's going to be hot, so take it slow, drink lots of water, wear a hat. We're going to be fine!  

Speaking of the heat.  I'm at the gym this morning for a spin class, although I remember that often there isn't a class on Fridays during the summer. No worries - I need to get on the bike to loosen up my knee which is feeling pretty awesome these days.  Yep - no class. Oh boy - I've got to keep myself motivated for an entire hour with nothing - no music, no videos, no one to chat to.  I'm by myself in a room with 70 spin bikes. So I rely on the numbers.  Can I crank out 30 K in 60 minutes?   That's 1 KM every two minutes.  I didn't start out that way so once I figured I could do it, I had to hustle to catch up to myself. And yes - I did cycle 30 KM in 60 minutes.  I was hot, sweat was pouring off me and my face was like a tomato (that's normal for me) and I accomplished what I wanted.  All in preparation of being outdoors this weekend in the heat!

On that note, have an awesome day!



  1. I would love a postcard please and thanks, Pat D. Orillia

  2. Hahaha that story of that red quilt is awesome!! I wouldn't give it to her, either! Our bed quilt design was chosen due to having a cat and a dog and recognizing that it would get "yucked on" so the pattern is nice and chaotic and all done by machine. :)

    1. Anne - I love it!!! Yes - if there are pets around, practical and FAST is the answer. Thanks for sharing!