Archive for April, 2014

Will Your Quilt Stand the Test of Time?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Many years ago I lost a good friend of mine in one of those slow, downhill declines that only cancer can do. Her family and mine have moved away but I’m pretty sure her husband and mine still share jokes via email. Every now and then I hear little tidbits about her youngest daughter, whether directly from her or through my own daughter who has seen her some where out and about. It is always good to know that she and her brother and sisters are doing well.

Last fall I was lucky enough to hear from that young lady again. She had a quilt her mother had made for her and because she had loved it soooo much, it was falling apart at the seams – literally… And she was hoping I could fix it. Naturally, I said yes and she sent it to me.

pic 1

Not only was this quilt falling apart at the seams but in many, many and many more places, the fabric was shredding!

pic 2

I was totally surprised about this – since I knew the fabric was only about 10-11 years old. Why, I had even contributed some of that fabric to the quilt – I recognized it right away when the quilt was returned to me.

I will digress a bit here and tell you that ironically, this is a quilt I talk about often in my classes when the To-Wash or Not-To-Wash debate comes up. My friend made this quilt mostly out of batiks that had not been washed and used a cotton batting that needed to be quilted an inch apart, so we knew it did not have much of a scrim in it. After the quilt was finished and bound, it was washed and shrunk 6″!!! It is still beautiful and wonderfully crinkly and soft too – very antique-y looking.

But back to the current issue, that fabric looked like it was a hundred years old. We’ve all seen what I’m talking about. Holes in the fabric or nothing left but what was sewn into the seams. And it was several different pieces of fabric, not just one troublesome color. I am attributing the short shelf life of all of this fabric to the its origins and especially to where it was purchased. Hint, Hint: You can get fabric there rather cheaply especially when you have a coupon.

So I spent several hours appliqueing pieces over the shredded pieces – hopefully this was the right thing to do, rather than removing it. And thankfully, since my friend had just wildly meandered all over the quilt, I was able to add more quilting in the same fashion to anchor down all the applique then cover the binding which was worn and splitting too since it was made from the same irksome fabric in the quilt.

So the moral of this story is you get what you pay for and if you really want it to last, pay for it!

quilt with jack

My cat has agreed that this quilt was definitely worth saving!