Quilt Reconstruction

A friend from church messaged me earlier in December and asked if I might be up for possibly fixing her long-loved quilt that her grandmother made her. I’m friends with the grandmother, and we talk shop about quilts all the time.
She sent me a picture of the original top before the quilt was finished.  It was made of bright 2″ squares and was scrappy in design.  Cute as could be.

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Then she sent me pictures of the back and the damage that had come from pretty constant use.  Once I had my hands on it, I noticed that many of the squares in the front were also shredding.  In fact, the quilt itself had almost been loved to death – the ultimate compliment for any quilter.

The first step was to disassemble the quilt.  This was actually easier than anticipated because it was a tied quilt.  I actually brought a seam ripper with me to my grandmother’s and got to work while she and I were chatting after Christmas. I separated the front from the back and batting and removed any squares beyond repair.

When I returned home, I used squares already cut from my own scrap stash that would blend in easily color-wise. Then I added a layer of white fabric underneath the top. This gave the thin top layer something to “hold on” to and to take the stress of the thread off of that thinner fabric. I found out from a previous reconstruction that it can also help revive some of those faded colors. It did result in a heavier quilt, though, especially since I’d changed it from the original polyester batting to cotton.

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From there, I had to pick a different backing as the store didn’t sell that same pattern anymore. I found one pattern that was closer in color, but it was thinner, and I didn’t want to be right back where we were again so soon.  So in the end, I chose a brighter green pattern that was a bit thicker and would last longer.

The quilting on this one needed to be closer, especially on the squares that still had some damage. I went with a stipple pattern because it would help when some squares needed extra quilting, and it would even out any misalignment from the top being pulled into shape and the old fabric stretching more. Pretty much every square has at least two lines of quilting running through it.

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In the end, I’m pretty proud of it, but I’ll admit I held my breath a bit when I put it in my washer and dryer.  But it turned out fine, and I am confident that it will stand up to many more uses to come.

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Related Blogs and Posts:

DIY Quilt Repair/Reconstruction

Saving the Double Wedding Ring Quilt: Vintage Linens and Trims to the Rescue!

Saving the Pink Fan Vintage Quilt

 

What to do with all those fabric scraps?!

When making quilts, you always have fabric scraps left over, and for the nice fabric quilters will always find a way to use every crumb of fabric.  In fact, there are even quilts called “crumb quilts” that feature all the little tidbits of fabric.  I’m not much of a crumb quilt person, and I certainly don’t have the storage room for them.  I do have a small 2 1/2″ square collection building up, though.

Scraps

When it comes to t-shirt quilts, though, the scraps issue takes on a whole other meaning.  Most t-shirt quilt blocks feature less than half of the fabric actually used in the shirt, and jersey knit doesn’t make for a nice scrap collection.  So what to do with all those fabric scraps?!

Scrap pile
I disturbed my cat’s resting place when I took this picture.

I’m so glad you asked. I make dog/cat beds out of them and donate them to the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia.

I cannot begin to gush enough about this organization or the tireless people who dedicate their time and energy to these precious animals.  Every Saturday you can find them, as well as other groups, stationed outside or inside Petco and PetSmart, trying to find families to adopt animals.  And they are so patient and sweet.  If the dog/cat damages their home, the costs come out of their own pockets.  The time they spend trying to socialize and rehabilitate some of the more traumatized animals is positively angelic. Not to mention they’re always on hand to attend to the medical needs of neglected and injured animals.  And they aren’t just trying to find any home for these animals.  They’re trying to find the RIGHT home.  They list the ideal circumstances for each animal to make sure both animal and owner are happy.

I sent out a call a while back asking friends if they had any thicker/non-quilting fabric that they wished to get rid of.  The thicker fabric does better in the long run as beds – more durable.  I’m proud to say several answered the call, and I have a ridiculous amount of fabric on hand specifically for dog/cat beds.

I tear the leftover t-shirt fabric into smaller pieces.  There’s also leftover batting strips too small to salvage as well as quilting fabric way too small to use (for me, anyway).  Then I’ll turn on a movie and stuff those scraps into the squares I’ve prepped, sewing the opening shut by hand. I can’t stuff them too full, though, or they won’t fit inside the crates.

It’s a small effort on my part, but the knowledge that maybe I’ve helped out the foster parents in some way makes me happy.  They do so much and deserve so much more.  We have two cats and a dog.  All three are connected to this organization in some way.

Eleanor
I love Eleanor. She can be a bit judgey at times.

Eleanor was part of a box of cats that was abandoned in front of PetCo one Saturday morning before adoptions started. Apparently a hearse drove up, dumped off a box of black and white cats, and drove off.  The adoption folks couldn’t take them with their own animals because the cats weren’t vetted up, etc.  But because they are the loving people that they are, they promised that anyone who took home one of the hearse cats would have the cat’s first round of shots and the spay/neuter paid for.

Jordan
He’s an excellent spooning partner – if a little mouthy at times.

If I have cash on me and pass by that store on a Saturday morning (which is a lot considering it’s right beside JoAnn’s), I always try to donate something.  One morning I went and saw a little orange cat.  He twisted, turned, and did the “buy me” dance, licked my finger, and won my heart.  I went home and spoke with my husband and roommate, and we all agreed Eleanor needed a friend. So in comes Jordan!

Diana
I am greeted every morning with excitement twirls. Such a self-esteem boost!

The last family member to join us is Diana (the Wonder Dog).  She came after a lot of thought and consideration.  We went back and forth for about two weeks when I saw a sponsored ad for her asking why no one had adopted her yet.  I put in an application about an hour later, and the foster mom met me on Monday to take her home for a week trial.  She’s been a blessing ever since.  An added bonus is that she likes to slide down playground slides!

If you’re considering getting a pet for your family, I cannot recommend adopting from the Society of Humane Friends enough!

Related blogs and posts:

Society of Humane Friends of Georgia
Savannah’s Paw Tracks

Another Good Dog

Harley’s Dream: End Puppy Mills