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Thread: Repairing an old quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member Trisher's Avatar
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    Repairing an old quilt

    Hello all,
    I have been asked to 'repair' an old quilt for a young friend of mine. The quilt is of no value in my opinion, but my friend has much sentimental value attached to it. I reluctantly agreed to work on it.

    The backing is shredded in most places. The batting (I am not sure what it is, but I think it is some sort of polyester) is ok in places but shredding in others.

    The top is intact (mostly) but is threadbare. It has been hand quilted.

    I have removed the backing. I will replace it with new. I am reluctant to remove the batting that is not shredded because I think it helps stabilize the top - but that may be false thinking. I will have to use new quilt batting over the old.

    Not sure what batting to use.

    I thought maybe fusible batting would help reinforce the threadbare top? Your thoughts? I am also hoping the needle won't shred the top when I machine quilt it. (I don't do hand quilting )

    Does anyone have any advice/experience? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I don't have any idea of how to repair your quilt but I certainly will be watching to see what anyone says as I have been asked to repair a quilt of my daughter's friend. Her friend lost her Mom and the quilt meant a lot to her. Hope you get some very informative answers.

  3. #3
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Could you tie it in places instead of completely machine quilting it? The original quilting stitches could still show, and the owner might be ok with that.

  4. #4
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    ​No suggestions but you have my sympathy! Been there, done that and don’t want to ever do it again!

  5. #5
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    I've done a number of these types of projects and it is always a bunch of "best/worst case" decisions. Typically I will leave on the old back, just putting on a new one and new binding. I typically will do minimal machine quilting to hold the layers together, griding the blocks or just a simple pattern leaving the old hand stitching in place, if it was tied originally I usually take out the ties after I stitch it down but sometimes there are large wear/tears at the ties. In your case, it does sound like maybe a new thin batt may be called for.

    I usually don't have any problems with the fabric shredding, but it all depends on how bad it is. I usually use a denim weight needle for machine quilting on my regular machine, but maybe a lighter needle is called for. You may want to put a layer of netting/a fine thin fabric you can see through over the top. When I've had to replace fabric, I will try and get as close as I can with my vintage fabrics but I typically distress the fabric a bit by over bleaching it first, while the back is off you can also do some extra stitching through the most worn areas, either zig zag or just inserting a similar colored fabric (maybe a light batiste weight solid) underneath the original fabric that you can stitch through.

    Good luck. Remember that it is the memories that are most important, our workmanship should be the best we can do but no matter what we do chances are it will be noticeable. Some times the quilt is so worn out that really the only thing that can be done is use the whole thing as batting in a new top or store it as is and only take it out when we need the hugs the worn fabric can give.

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Iceblossom has given very thoughtful, and informed suggestions.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    How about trying to salvage some good parts and just making it smaller?
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Trisher's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I think I can take it from here!

  9. #9
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I wouldn't fix it. I'd frame it instead.

    If you fixed it, in my opinion, it wouldn't be the same quilt, and she'd keep using it, which would mean more wear & tear.

    Here are some cute framing ideas.

    https://www.pinterest.com/search/pin...yped&term_meta[]=framing%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=old%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=quilt%7Ctyped

    This one is my favorite.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/210332245074227403/
    Last edited by Peckish; 11-14-2018 at 08:29 AM.

  10. #10
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    Sounds like you’ve committed to this job. In the future i suggest you think twice. I was asked by a coworker yrs ago that since i could crochet would i repair an afghan that had belonged to her grandmother. I felt the sentiment. I had a lot of yarn so that wasnt an issue. I spent a lot of time repairing the agrandmother’s Flower Garden. It was restored to perfect. Awhile after i returned it to her, she ignorantly mentioned her dog was now sleeping on it. I was so put out with her.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Trisher's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Super Member d.rickman's Avatar
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    Name:  Repaired quilt 10.jpg
Views: 240
Size:  1.29 MBIf it means a lot to her, then I think you should tackle the project, I sent you a PM to let you know how I did the one recently for a lady who was also very attached to the same kind of quilt. I used netting under the top, to stabilize it and added lace in those areas where it was really worn out. The quilt had not been squared up, so I left it just as it was, not wanting to disturb the original to very much. I would freshen up the batting, removing the old and putting in new, then put new backing on the back - she and her husband loved it. They wanted to pay more, however I was in a generous mood the day of delivery.
    Last edited by d.rickman; 11-15-2018 at 01:45 PM. Reason: add photo
    Quilting People are the Best, Have a great sewing day!
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  13. #13
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    ooohhh I really like the framing idea!!!

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