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.
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.
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.
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.
Related Blogs and Posts: