June 20, 2023

A Bit of Whimsy


This quilt is basically a utility comforter.  It's made of large scraps and tied with yarn.  The ties are done with many colors that march in lines across the quilt rather than being a scattered mix.  I think this makes the quilt quite fun!

Plus, it's had a mishap that I think actually makes it kind of wonderful.

Apparently, it was washed at some point, and a piece of cream wool shrank, gathering up the rest of the fabrics around it.  Adding that in with the colorful ties gives it such a unique personality, don't you think?  A fun idea to add to an art quilt perhaps?  (see footnote below)*

And here's the texture that the shrinkage caused on the back.  Pretty fascinating! 

The only way I could figure to fix this was to remove the shrunken cream wool and the ties in that area, insert a new piece of wool, and replace the ties.  The quilt's owner and I discussed this, and she decided to not send me the quilt for repair, and to enjoy the quilt as is with all its funky personality.  So these are her photos (and her foot!) and I thank her for allowing me to post them here along with the story.

To see a similar shrinking occurrence, here's a child's quilt from the 1960s that was filled with a piece of wool blanket.  When someone washed it, the blanket felted and gathered up the whole quilt.  I took it apart, put in a new batting, mended some torn fabrics, and brought it back to its original look.  


You can see more photos of this little quilt and read the whole story on a previous post.   

* And then, a short while ago, I came across this post from an artist, Claire Harvey @claire_harvey_arts, doing the same kind of shrinkage in her fiber art!  The post is from a site called the No Rules Textile Society,  formed by Jayne  Emerson, which has regular challenge prompts, in this case "Gather".  I'm not sure what the shrinking layer is here, but it's surely the same kind of effect! 


  1. That's so interesting! I've been warned not to mix washed and unwashed fabrics in a quilt in case one fabric would shrink dramatically someday when the finished quilt was washed. The wool patch in this quilt is the first time I've actually SEEN that happen to a quilt!

    1. Indeed. An interesting effect if you want it, quite problematic if you don't. And the one-patch child's quilt I linked to is a lesson about knowing what fiber the batting is before washing.