Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Help Please

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and you've all recovered. 
I spent most of December working on a custom quilt that I happily put in the mail right after New Year's, huge and not my usual colors but interesting to make. 

Sorry about the pictures, the sunshine state is not living up to it's name and Brady is right behind that quilt waiting to burst through. The woman I made it for has a bunch of my smaller quilts that she uses for table covers when she has garden parties. She asked me about making a large one for her dining room, 60" X 80" with the design in the center and the colors matching her carpet. I sent her three ideas and she picked this one. 

This is the center which is 40" X 60". It was pretty interesting and challenging, and the best part is done, in the mail and on it's way overseas. :)

I have one more project to do before I can play my way, although I did whip up a colorful quick quilt for this months Let's Book It, I really needed to play with some brights. 

This is my niece's quilt, her mother sent it to me asking me to repair it.

Again, no sun so I took the pictures inside. It's twin size and pretty basic, large blocks and tied.

Some of the minimal damage

The worst damage

The backing is a sheet with the sides turned up to make the binding, most of the ties are gone and some of the seams are separating. 
At first I was going to hand sew new blocks to replace the old and no idea about the seams. It would have to be done carefully since it couldn't show on the back. 

Now I wonder if I can take the backing off, it's hand sewn at the binding, but nothing except a few ties is really holding it and with the backing off I can replace and repair, probably replace the batting, put it back together and retie it.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this idea? I don't want to dismantle and find out it was a huge mistake. It seems logical to me, but well... logic and I are not the best of friends. 

Ideas, tips, prayers are all accepted, throwing it in the trash or just sending it back are NOT an option. 
Later Gators,


  1. How beautiful this table quilt is! Excellent design too.
    Your plan sounds doable to me.....a lot of work for what is going on here. The only other option I see is to applique larger patches, circles, squares over the damage and retie. That is the challenge with tied quilts....they allow more stress points because they are not secure like a quilted quilt, and seams take a beating because of it. If I was taking it apart and replacing batting and doing repair, I would quilt it and not tie for those reasons. Sorry to add to your load.

  2. I like the quilt you made. It 'pops'. I'd take the back off the repair quilt, since it's barely attached, and repair it, then quilt it instead of tying it, or else, use lots more ties than was used in the first place. I repaired a quilt, a few years ago, that had been quilted, and they didn't want to lose grandma's hand quilting, but, most of the backing was gone. I repaired it, then added a new backing and tied it, burying the strings so that they wouldn't show. It was well received, and I was paid extra for all the extra time I put in to make it better than before.

  3. I think if you remove the back to fix - you may stress the quilt more. Like Debbie suggested - applique over the damage areas (this is what we do) and re- tie the quilt

  4. Beautiful custom quilt. For your repair project, I've done both. Definitely more work and risk to take a quilt a part, but as this one tied it may not be that difficult. Do you know how the quilt is used? e.g. is it pretty much a display quilt, a bed quilt, lap quilt, etc. Hopefully it is just a display quilt.

    Obviously, applique over the damaged pieces is the easiest. When I've taken a part a quilt, to repair, I rarely unpiece the blocks, as much as still applique. But to help provide stability to the top I've used very soft and lightweight iron on stabilizer applying it underneath the top, before I sandwich it back.

    Another thought, while the final result could still be a tied quilt, this technique does allow for more shifting and can make it easier for the quilt to get damaged. You can also look at it to see if it might be worthwhile to machine quilt and if the owner approves, while it changes the original look, it will help to preserve the quilt in the future, and may be more appropriate if it is getting handled a lot vs displayed.


  5. Hi Dana,
    Your custom quilt is lovely ! The pattern is so elegant, and we love the bright blue centers of the blocks, which really "pop"! Your niece's quilt has pretty fabrics, and we know you'll do a fabulous job of repairing it. We enjoy reading your blog and learning all about your latest projects.
    Best wishes, and happy quilting, from Marina and Daryl :-)

  6. The first quilt is so great Dana! I love your design and all the open space around the blocks - they look like they float. Your customer must be thrilled!
    You are a braver woman than I, to take on the quilt repair. I have no advice for you because I would be to afraid to tackle it.

  7. That does look like it was an interesting puzzle-type quilt to do up for someone. :) Did you already work on your niece's quilt? If it's as well-loved as it seems, I'd probably go for disassembling it and putting a new back on. Great time to put a pretty fabric there, even a flannel or minky if she doesn't live someplace like Florida or Arizona. I would go for minimal machine quilting along with some ties so that it has stronger structural integrity for future longevity. At the moment, what would float my boat is to use my machine's serpentine stitch along the seams of the squares, then put ties in the centers of the squares. It would stay nice and gushy, but be stronger for better durability while keeping the tie characteristic that might well be part of the identity of your niece's emotional identity with it.

  8. you are amazing at the quilts!! that top quilt is... just WOW!!!!!!!!!! I would never even attempt that!
    loving your nieces quilt! I can't wait to see how you repaired it or how you did it!

  9. I'm wondering if you have repaired the quilt yet. I would definitely cut the rest of the ties, take off the back, repair the top and then quilt it instead of tying. If they want ties they can still be added after it is quilted.