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Repair/Restore

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JOANNES-5 posted on Sun, Nov 11 2012 2:09 PM

A friend asked me to repair a quilt at any cost, which has sentimental value to her. The fabric is thin and has several tears.  It was tied but I feel it would strengthen it to have it machine quilted after putting in new batting and backing, which was also badly torn.  My question is: what is the best way to repair the tears in the log cabin top.  Should I iron on something to the back side and then have it quilted over that.  It won't work to stitch the tears together, even by hand as the fabric is so thin.  Any suggestions would be appreciated, especially if anyone has had this experience.  Thanks, JoanneS.     rschlafmann@westriv.com

 

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Hi Joannies-5 and nice to meet you.

As to your question, I am certainly no expert, but I would not machine quilt it, with the fabric so thin I am afraid it would do more damage and probably ruin it.  You might try doing some research or contacting a local Quilters Guild about quilt restoration. Hope this helps.

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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gini replied on Sun, Nov 11 2012 2:47 PM

taking apart and repairing a quilt in this condition may not be worth the bother, what ever she is willing to pay you.   if the fabric is too thin, the quilting threads may be too strong for it and cut the threads of the fabric if it is done by machine.  hand quilting would probably be better.    basting the entire top to muslin might work.   you may be better off remaking the quilt out of new fabrics, matching as close as you can the older fabrics, and salvadging what you can of the old quilt and framing the pieces, or making shams out of them to match the newer quilt.  

i took one apart in just this condition. after i got the pieces apart, the top  was so fragile that i wasn't willing to take the time to redo it.  i have the pieces in the best condition saved, bu ti'm not sure i will ever use them.

gini in north idaho

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Joannes. Rather than take it apart could you add another layer of thin batting and a new backing to what is already there and re-tie it? Or, do as Gini suggested and hand quilt/baste it. Perhaps the thinner areas on the top could have some hand appliques added.

One other possible solution. Since the quilt has sentimental value to her, could the better sections be cut into large pieces and framed. I saw that done in an office with a very old quilt. It was wonderful. The edges were left raw and the pieces were mounted on backing board that had been covered with muslin and framed with a deep framing. They didn't use glass. I wish I'd taken a photo but this was several years ago.


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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gini replied on Sun, Nov 11 2012 10:19 PM

when they are restoring an old valuable quilt, they will lay tulle over the  worn spots to support them.

gini in north idaho

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Eileen replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 7:23 AM

I attended a class on restore vs repair at a quilt show in September. The presenter mentioned possible solutions such as appliqueing a "matching" fabric over a piece that's torn or worn (there are so many reproduction fabrics out there that this is easier to do than in the past).. She strongly recommended hand quilting a quilt if 1) it was fragile and 2) was made at a time when machine quilting would not have been done.  She mentioned a muslin support to someone after class but I don't know what all the issues were with that quilt.

Good luck with this project :-)

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