Some time ago I wrote about fixing up an old, well-loved quilt to extend its life a bit. It belonged to my DH, made by his grandmother when he was just a kid.
This weekend, I was called upon once again to perform some rehabilitation on a much-loved quilt. This time it was one that I had made many years ago for the son of my BFF, when he graduated from high school.
Full of apologies for its condition, my friend told me that he has used it constantly for all these years. After all that use, and all those washings, the binding was completely worn out, and some other repairs were needed.They were reluctant to wash it again, for fear that it would simply disintegrate! It would mean a great deal to him if I could repair it so he could continue using it, she explained. Naturally, I agreed to do whatever was necessary to fix it for him.
When we opened it up, I was struck by how incredibly soft and cuddly it was. You just had to scrunch into it, and feel that velvety, softly-textured surface against your face. The binding was indeed worn out, completely gone in some places; but I noted with some pride that while the fabric was ragged, my careful hand-stitching holding it to the back had held firm.
Instead of machine-stitching to the front, then flipping and hand-stitching it to the back, I opted for a more expedient method. I machine-stitched it to the back…
There were a couple small holes on the back that needed a patch, to prevent them from getting any worse. As luck would have it, I still had a piece of the original backing fabric in my stash, and was able to locate it in under a minute – the advantage of keeping my stash reasonably well-organized! You can see how much it has faded over time.
My friend kept thanking me for my efforts, so I told her what I think most of us quilters would: it was a genuine pleasure to rescue this quilt. The fact that it was so worn meant that her son had loved it, and used it in exactly the way I had hoped he would when I gave it to him all those years ago. There is no higher compliment to a quilter than to see something she made used until it’s used up. It gave me joy to make it in the first place, and gave me joy again to repair it, and return it to the wonderful man her son has become.
He looks happy to have his quilt back, don’t you think? Stay warm, Chris!