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Thread: Repairing a block in a quilt that's already being quilted

  1. #1
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    I'm in the throes of hand-quilting a quilt that's going to be raffled off for charity. The blocks are crazy blocks from a block swap. Unfortunately, I didn't realise until after basting that there's a problem with one block. It wasn't sewn in either the standard method of piecing, traditional crazy piecing, or foundation piecing. Instead, she laid the pieces of fabric down and then did a zigzag over the raw edges. There's a large heart shape covering most of that block (fused on, so no hope of quilting through that part of things. Basting was a nightmare at times), so I didn't spot this until the fabric had already started to tear away from the zigzagging in several places. I tried embroidering over it with blanket stitch, but it still looks very frayed and I wouldn't dare wash it. Right now I've ordered some 6mm grosgrain ribbon in hot pink and was planning to stitch that on top of all the "seams", probably using some sort of hand embroidery stitch (this is all hand-sewing). Do you reckon that's the best option, or is there something else I could do?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member scrapngmom's Avatar
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    I don't have an answer for you but I wanted to say I really like the quilt top. Hope you will be able to fix it. It is a quilt I would love to have in my house.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it! I have no idea whether you'll be able to buy raffle tickets from abroad, though. Come to that, I'm not 100% certain the charity (Forward UK) will raffle it, though that's what I'll advise them to do.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think the ribbon would look very cute. However, I'm thinking that narrow bias strips of hot pink fabric would be easier to sew. The ribbon won't have any "give" while you are working with it, and ribbon ends typically fray a lot. Might be difficult to poke a needle through too.

    I would get a narrow Clover bias tape maker thingie, starch the hot pink fabric before cutting strips, run them through the tape maker, and then cut pieces to size to hand sew over the fraying edges. Just think it would be easier to work with than ribbon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Helovesme's Avatar
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    I love how that heart block stands out and is visibly different from the rest....like the 'heart of the quilt' and a story behind it. I think a ribbon would be perfect or if possible use a piping of sorts - kinda like an artery or ventrical in the heart.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Prism - Oof, really? It's all straight lines, I was just going to fold it over at the ends and when it got to turning corners. I have absolutely no idea what the ribbon will be like to work with, I ordered it from eBay and it hasn't arrived yet. The good thing is that I can fix this at any time, since the quilting is already done on this block, so I could even finish the whole quilt, plus the cushion cover and wall hanging to go with (two leftover blocks from the swap), and then sort out the frayed edges.

    How useful are those binding tape thingies otherwise? I'm a bit reluctant to spend even more money just to fix this one thing.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Helovesme - yes, it's funny, the quilter kept on apologising for that heart because she'd gone a smidgen past what I'd requested for the blocks, and I kept on saying No no, it's great, it really makes the quilt - and then I discover all that fraying! I won't be sewing over the heart itself, I think it works best on its own plus it's a nightmare to get a needle through.

  8. #8
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    I think your plan sounds like a good one. I would only add that a little Fray Check on the fabric before you add to it may be a good idea to help hold it all together now and in the future.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think your solution will be perfect, and that is a gorgeous quilt!

  10. #10
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    I think your idea will work well.

    Also have you seen the tutorials for making binding tape just using a pin in your ironing board? It would spare you needing to buy anything and looks crazy easy.

  11. #11
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    I think the ribbon idea is good. If it's already on it's way, I would stick with that idea. That's one of the reasons I don't like to use a close zigzag when machine appliquing. I know alot of people love to do it but I think it almost perforates the fabric weakening it. Good luck and the quilt will be great when finished.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    I haven't found those tutorials for making binding using a pin in the ironing board, but I'd love it if someone could link me to one. If I end up going for that option, which pretty much depends on how the ribbon behaves when it arrives, then is there any particular type of fabric that works best for this? I think the pinks I have are all batiks, i.e. more densely woven.

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    before adding the ribbon- or bias strips you might want to put some fray-check over the fraying edges- just to keep them from fraying more- and then it will just depend on the ribbon being what you hope it is when it arrives.
    making your own could still be an option-
    to do the bias (tape) yourself- you cut your bias strips- pin a large safety pin to your ironing board-leaving enough room for the folded strip to pass through- fold your strip- push the end through the pin- start to press-pulling the bias strip through the pin as you press it-
    i hope i explained that so it makes sense- sometimes you just have to give it a try to figure it out-
    beautiful quilt- i hope how ever you try works out.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    I've looked up fray check, and I'm uneasy about using it as apparently it's acidic and can damage fabric. I think the embroidery is enough to keep the fraying from getting worse at this stage, it was more that it looked messy and wouldn't hold up to washing.

    Oh, that method! I use that every time I make binding! Thank you for explaining, it made perfect sense.

    The ribbon has arrived and looks very nice. It's a great colour match, it will blend in a lot better than I thought. Folding it over is going to be awkward for any seam which meets the edge of the block at anything other than a right angle, but I'll just have to fold it and roll it and fiddle and pin it into submission.

    Does anyone have thoughts on what stitch will look best to hold it down? Hand embroidery stitches, remember. I can't use a machine and anyway, whatever I do for this will only go into the batting but not end up showing in the back. Blanket stitch again? Going straight up and down so that the stitching ends up being a row of little diagonal lines? Cross stitch? Should I cover a lot of the ribbon with stitching or leave most of it visible, and should I pick a matching thread or use a selection of the #8 perle threads from the quilting to provide some contrast? My current instinct is telling me to keep it unobtrusive, the heart is already enough to grab the attention with that block.

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