Saturday, May 31, 2014

The very bad quilt

    A woman in my Bible study asked me if could repair a quilt. I said probably not. She brought it anyways next time and showed it to me and it was a tied disaster in a bag. I said if she cut all the ties and took off the back, I would consider putting in a new batting and backing. Then she had a fall on her icy driveway and has been out on disability unable to use her one hand. Then the quilt made a reappearance. She told me how much it meant to her as it was made by a relative and she cherished it. I took it and left it in a bag in the garage for months because it was too cold to work outside and it was not coming in the house. I am not a germophobe, don't judge, wait till you see the photo. Yesterday, I gritted my teeth, put on a dusk mask, rubber gloves, a shop coat and a table outside. I cut the ties that weren't rotted, and peeled off the backing. The quilt is made from upholstery fabric scraps and some crazy knit stuff. Someone had put this back over a very deteriorated and dirty backing with old batting still in it. I had to swallow real hard and work real fast to get that biohazard stuff off there and into the trash, which gratefully got picked up this morning. I had to get the binding off, old and older, and just get the front. 
   Then, I took the top and put it in a big bucket with laundry soap, Spic and Span, Awesome, and antibacterial soap and hot water. I let it brew for half an hour, emptied it real quick. I could not force myself to photo that. I did that three times. Then it came into the washer and spun out. And then it washed three times. And in the dryer for 20 minutes and then out on an old sheet on the ground outside and now it is dry.
   So, how do I mend this thing? I am thinking of finding upholstery scraps and fusing oval leaf shapes over the holes in the blue bands and zig zagging it down. I am not quilting this on any of my machines. I am not tying it. I am thinking of big running stitches with embroidery thread. Help, anybody with an idea??? I know this quilt means a lot to her which is why I have kept going despite what my stomach and head said. I am a sucker for a meaningful quilt, no matter how bad I think it is. 
   There. Two difficult things in two days. Now I am exhausted.
In its tied state with backing

Brace yourself, biohazard time. Told you not to judge me.

Drying in the sun, washed six times. Holey blue bands.


Jeanie said...

Bless your heart! Have fun, she will be delighted with your kindness.

Terri said...

Anybody else would have trashed that mess long ago! Kudos to you for your hard work. I hope you are getting paid for this. You are giving up creative time for this mend.

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

you are a better person than I am!

Dre in PA said...

Getting paid would be the least of it. Do however get reimbursed for your costs- batting, fabrics, soaps, and make her promise to TELL NO ONE. The last thing you want to be is the lady who REPAIRS quilts.
What about using bias tape in a matching color to cover each blue strip edge; a sort of applique and quilt all in one step. Or is that more work?

Elizabeth said...

Go to the thrift store and find an old polyester blanket for batting and an old sheet for the back. Why not retie it?

Peg said...

I agree with Elizabeth - fix it like it was made - with a used sheet and blanket from a thrift store and then just tie it off with the long embroidery stitches. But. putting on a new backing, batting and binding w/o a machine would be very time consuming. You would be spending a lot of time touching what you do not like. Since you've spent so much time giving it a thorough cleaning, why not use a machine?

You are a Saint. But, I also agree with Dre - make sure she does not tell who fixed it - there are too many old quilts out there that should be composted!