January 29, 2018

Come Home Soon

Quilts can carry so much love and so many memories.  Here's one such quilt that came to me for repair.

The owner told me:

My mom bought it from an Amish lady she knows in Lancaster Pa. She owns a really successful shop there. She bought it for me while I was away on my Mormon mission. It’s called “Come Home Soon.”

The quilt was made in 2000.  

The pattern is a series of wonderfully executed appliqué vignettes, representing all sorts of doors and all sorts of waiting.

There were some really big rips in the quilt, plus just generally weak fabrics.  The goal was to bring the quilt back to a safe condition.  I mended and patched the large and what I call structurally necessary places, meaning missing fabric and open tears where batting is visible.  I also replaced the ragged outer narrow border and original knife-edge finish with a wide binding.  The smaller worn spots were left as is.  Patching all that wear would have been a humongous job, plus it would have added too much new fabric to a memory quilt.

The biggest tear was mended by patching both the front and back and adding new batting.

A lot of the worst problems were with the white background fabric, either missing altogether or very seriously torn and weak. 

I added batting where necessary, and carefully appliquéd the patches  into the space around the doors.  

Sometimes, depending on the fabric the background was joining, I used a ladder stitch (right) and sometimes I used a herringbone stitch (left).

I patched some of the little squares in the sashing with new fabric, and mended some with herringbone stitching.  I also patched over a red stain, possibly nailpolish.

I mended some of the places with tears big enough to show the batting by putting an insert of new fabric below and then herringbone stitching through the old fabric and into the insert to hold the edges together.  (Step-by-step photos of this process on a different quilt.)

Here are photos of more of the doors, all so different and all so clever.

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