Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Quilt Repair

Ozzy's quilt.

I'm in the middle of repairing, for the second time, the beloved quilt of a dear friend.  Our friend lives at the Community Housing associated with the Livermore Veterans Administration.  More than four years ago the quilt was among a group donated to the vets by unknown (to me), generous quilters.

An original block with two red patches from the last repair.

In my quilting life, I too, have made quilts to be donated to various organizations.  As I worked on Ozzy's quilt I realized that, had the maker known how treasured the quilt would become, she would have done as good a job with the quilting as she did with the piecing.  The blocks and sashing were hand-pieced with beautifully small stitching.  Had the quilting been done as meticulously, this quilt would have lasted much longer than it did.

The sad state of the sashing.

As I mentioned, this is the second time I have repaired this quilt.  Had it originally been quilted densely, instead of quickly, the fabric would not have worn out.  I can see from the wear patterns that light quilting allowed the fabric to move which created friction and eventually holes and tears on the top.

Two blocks I replaced previously with the added X quilt lines.

The last time I fixed Ozzy's quilt I quilted an X on each block. That bit of quilting kept the new blocks from wearing.  But the original blocks continued their downward spiral, even with the X quilting.

 I did not, last time, quilt any of the sashing.  This time much of the sashing needs repair.

So, you might be thinking, why don't I just make him a new quilt?  There are three reasons: he loves this quilt, it is faster to repair, and I have fourteen WIPs* in my line-up.  The good thing, for me, is that I know, next time I make a quilt to be donated, I will do a better job of quilting.  Sometimes donation quilts are our personal rejects and we don't spend the time on them we should.  But think of the recipients, often they are children who may have lost everything in a fire, or have been abused and are being removed from their home and all they are familiar with.  Or, like Ozzy, live in a nursing home environment where few personal possessions are allowed.  These donated quilts mean a lot to people, are well loved and much used.  The quilts and their recipients deserve our best as our quilt gifts are valued by their new owners.

Patching an existing block

I replaced most of this block. The upper right corner is original.
It is awaiting quilting.

*WIP: Work in progress; replaces the negative connotation of UFO, unfinished objects.

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