I’ve done this for a few of my own inherited quilts and for a quilt or two I’ve rescued from the scrap heap, but this is the first time I’ve done it for anyone else (and only love for a friend would induce me!) This quilt had been hung over the back of a bench outside by her grandmother for a number of years.
I can’t fix the sun damage, but one big hole that goes all the way through plus another small hole in the back and myriad places where the fabric has decayed were my focus.
I stockpile vintage fabrics when I can find them, but in the case of this quilt, having two unmatched stars would (IMO!) ruin the effect of this quilt. I found a fabric in the color family of the quilt and got my friend’s approval to replace both.
I also found a solid green fabric in the color family of the green used here, and then verrrrry gingerly slipped it behind the most damaged sections, using tiny pieces of fusible web to hold the whole in place. This kept the effect of the original fabric where effective substitution of this green/white polka dot would have been impossible.
I had to pick out quilting to be able to make many of the repairs, then go back and re-quilt in the original pattern. This quilt was backed with a fabric that looks more like cheesecloth than anything else, so to repair various holes rubbed into the binding (this one was bound by wrapping the backing around to the front and stitching down) I had to use more of a darning effect. The only alternative to keep it from continuing to deteriorate would be to re-bind it completely, but then again, you’re changing the look of the quilt, and this quilt holds much-cherished memories for my friend.
Once it was re-quilted, the changes are merged into the whole and overall, it looks more like it belongs, do you think? I’m both eager and nervous, hoping my friend will be pleased!