Tuesday, April 17, 2012

According to Grandma's dishtowels, Wednesday is Mending Day. Merriam Webster says - mend - verb: to free from faults or defects as to set right, correct. In today's world, we don't do much in the way of mending. Oh the occasional button is sewn back on, but how many of us would honestly bother to darn a sock? Or even know where to begin when it came to darning a sock? Heck, on most days I don't even wear socks. But I digress, even in the 21st century there are times when mending is THE only answer.
Not too long ago, Hubby came home and told me that his boss (hereafter referred to as Quilt Owner) has a quilt and was wondering if I could repair it. "Yeah, probably," I said with a shrug. Then Hubby gave me the rest of the story.
Quilt Owner's mother was piecing the quilt for him but passed away before it was done. So in stepped his aunt who finished it. And now the quilt has a tear in it that Quilt Owner would like to have repaired. Uh-oh, I'm such a sucker for an heirloom - but do I have what it takes to do the job and do it right? *yikes* So I said, "Sure, I'll at least have a look and see what I can do.'
Some time passed because of a hectic schedule at work and I sort of forgot about it. Then one day I got some email photos of 'the damage.'
One small tear in the middle of the piecing. Okay, I can do that. I asked if any of the leftover fabric was still available thinking if not, I could put out the Blogger Call. But original fabrics were secured and I started thinking about just what to do.
I started out planning to take out stitches and replace the torn piece. But the more I thought about it, the more I just didn't want to disturb the work that Quilt Owner's mom and aunt had done. When the quilt arrived, I just let it sit in the quilting space for about a week while I mulled over my options and skill. Then it came to me: just make a patch!
That is exactly what I would do if it were my own quilt. Now if it were my own quilt, I would probably just haul out some mismatched chunk of fabric, stitch it down, call it primitive and get on with my day. But that is not every one's cuppa.
So I fussy cut an exact match that would cover the tear and not interfere with the quilting.
Tried it on for size and then appliqued it in place.
A beautifully mended quilt, with all the precious stitches still intact. Quilt Owner is pleased and I am relieved.
We are living in a disposable time. Technology moves so rapidly that it is often more beneficial to replace rather than repair an item . . . . most of the time. Every now and again, it's better to look back to Grandma and her dishtowels for the answer.

36 comments:

Cornbread and Beans Quilting said...

Dang Libby it is pretty darn perfect!!! Great job.

Loris said...

Lovely work! I bet they will love it even more now that it has been rescued.

Mary said...

Great solution. That's actually the same way I repair wallpaper. It's a technique that works on a lot of different materials.

McIrish Annie said...

you did a great job! can't even tell where it was. quilt magic!

Sue said...

Oh my goodness! You're a genius! I would have opted for the patch thing and called it primitive.
You did an awesome job on that. I mean it.

That is my biggest fear...repairing old quilts. But if ever I need to....now I know who to send them to;)

Kim said...

Imagine the relief and delight this patchwork mend brought to Quilt Owner's heart. This can only add to the charm of this quilt's story. Way to go! :-D

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, Great job-I couldn't even tell where the patch was. I have an old, really old antique quilt that has frayed and some rips-I've searched high and low for matching fabric but haven't found any...so I leave it as it is. Thanks for sharing; I know you've given Quilt Owner joy.
Noreen

Quilt Hollow said...

Wow...it is perfect!

WoolenSails said...

What a clever idea and you didn't have to pull it apart.

Debbie

Lindah said...

Good job! I had to look really hard to find it.

Paula TheQuilter said...

Yay you! a job well done. BTW, I am currently wearing a pair of jeans that have patches. Just sayin'.

Nancy in MT said...

Great job, can't even see the patch, a sigh from hubby, he knew you would make the mend.

Ginny Worden said...

Great job, a hero for sure. On a side note, I do know how to mend a sock,but don't do it anymore. Oh well, I have the knowledge,now that's a good thing.

Mrs. Sew and Sew - Karen said...

Beautiful job! And yes I mend my wool artist socks! I love wool socks that are colorful....but really too spendy for me so I don't toss them. Not sure how to mend correctly but suits me!

Karen said...

I think your repair was the way I would have done it.

Dixie said...

What a great fix, and a wonderful story to ponder over. I bet your hubby scored some major points, and it made you feel good too! Bravo!!! A few years ago I repaired a childhood quilt that belonged to a soldier leaving for Iraq, and a lot of time and love went into those repairs but it felt so great to do it for him...

quiltmom said...

How cool that you could find a matching piece of fabric- you did a wonderful job of patching it- that can be tricky to do. What a wonderful thing to do for someone that helped them keep a treasured memory of their loved one intact. Thanks for sharing such a nice day brightener story.
Warmest regards,
Anna

Linnie Quilts said...

My grandmother taught me how to mend (and sew as well). I have her darning eggs and I have to say it has been a long time since I've used one on socks (but I do remember how to do it!). You're right about disposable times (I refer to this as the "paper towel generation"). Not only with material things but also with relationships ... doesn't work? Toss it out and get a new one... You did a great job on mending that quilt ... I am certain they are very grateful and will treasure it for generations to come.

Dawn said...

Beautifully done - and very thoughtful for everyone involved. Makes me smile ;-)

Candace said...

Thank goodness for Grandma and her dishtowels and darning egg, Libby! Even in your close-up I could not tell where the patch is! Good save! We actually still practice a bit of patching and mending here - it's good for the soul (and the pocketbook)!
Cheers!

AnnieO said...

No idea indeed how to darn a sock and totally agree with what a throwaway society we have become, which is pretty sickening at times! Wonderful way you hid the patch so perfectly and preserved the beauty of the design and quilting. I would love to see a pic of the whole quilt!

Cathi said...

What a perfect way to fix it!! The owner must be thrilled! I remember my mother darning socks -- but I won't have a clue where to begin!

Lori said...

Lovely repair job!!

Stephanie D. said...

Fantastic repair job! How fortunate there was still some of the original fabric left. I have never considered including patches of original fabric with a quilt to give away, but here's a perfect reason to change that.

Melanie said...

We knew you could sew--- what impresses me is you didn't say, "I can't" and you tried...and you did it!!. What is it our moms always said," Can't never Could..." Great job. I know they appreciated it.

marina said...

what an amazing mending job. I had to look so hard to find it.

blessedmoms simple home said...

You did a great job! I'm sure "quilt owner" was thrilled with the results!
Blessings,
Marcia

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

How wonderful! You did a beautiful job and I agree that it was important to make it look perfect. You did.

suz said...

Brilliant job Libby! How wonderful Quilt Owner appreciated what he had enough to get it mended!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Perfect! You're sew smart!!

deb said...

great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen said...

I'm ready for a new post from you!

Valerie said...

Wow, very nice repair!! I know what you mean about everything being so disposable...I always just sort of went around thinking that everyone appreciated "old" things, but I've learned over the years that kind of appreciation is a rare trait! :)

Kathie said...

hey its been a month are you hibernating in your sewing room or enjoying the weather your having???? gardening????
Kathie

Linnie Quilts said...

I miss you!! Everything okay??

Judy in Michigan said...

Miss you - hope all is well.