Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Repairing past projects

Every winter I start a quilting project. Usually I start a new quilt with the idea that I will give it as a gift at some point. This year I'm going back to fix three of my personal quilts.

The first quilt is a summer coverlet. My Gramma Cartwright made many of the squares. Some of the seams were splitting. I went through and fixed those seams, and then added some additional quilting to support the older seams. The actual quilting comes in when you put the top and bottom layers together. Sometimes it's decorative; other times it's pretty straightforward. Either way the main purposes are to support the block seams and keep the top and bottom together.

The second quilt is one I made in college. I remember finishing it while I was on winter break during college. This quilt needs a new binding. The one I originally sewed started as white edging. It's some dirty-looking color now and is coming apart. It is long past time for a new binding.

The third quilt had a completely different problem. If there is such a thing as over-quilting, I did it on this project. The middle block is a large piece of red material with white dots. I did a lot of handwork on the block. As the years passed, the fabric simply wore away on the block. There are parts that simply don't exist anymore. I haven't decided exactly how to fix it, but I have a few ideas. I need to cover the worn parts while still showing some of the original hand quilting.

There's one quilt project I might take on after these three are done. It will be a huge project that I haven't quite been able to crystalize yet. I have the first quilt I made. It's more than 30 years old. I hand sewed everything from the blocks to the quilting. My youthful ignorance led me to put too much batting between the top and the bottom. I thought it would make it warmer. What happened is the seams started pulling and splitting as I washed it over and over again. It has been sitting in a closet for a while now. I want to get it out of the closet and back into regular use.

Fixing this quilt will require pulling apart the original quilt, fixing the seams and re-quilting the original top to a new backing. Part of the reason I haven't done it before is it seems overwhelming. I always had another project on deadline. I didn't want to start it unless I had time to finish it.

When the first three projects are done, I hope to have a final plan to fix my first quilt. If I can put it all together in my head, I'm sure it will come together nicely.

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