Restoring Dazy's Quilt

First, a gratuitous bit of autumn colour. I think this tree is called Liquid Amber - it has maple-shaped leaves and these delightful spiny seed pods.

And with nary a segue, on to the quilt! I did all the stitching by hand, although machine would have been far quicker, as I wanted to preserve the integrity of the quilt. I found an old cotton sheet that was quite close to the pink I needed. I didn't mind so much that it wasn't a perfect match as I knew there would be a noticeable difference between my stitching and the original anyway. I wasn't aiming for an invisible patch job, but for a repair that could be seen to be done with care and, hopefully, skill.

First, I made a template of the teardrop shape, cut fourteen of them from the pink sheet, and basted them in place on top of the damaged border.

Then, I applied a thin, finely woven cotton to the back, cut around the edge from the front, and pinned and basted that in place.

I somehow lost the picture of the next step, which involved whipstitching the two layers together around the edge of the original quilt. It was a bit like making a pocket for each scallop to fit into.

Next, I quilted over the original quilting lines. This was hard because the old fabric had shifted a lot, so I did the best I could, but my stitches aren't remotely as fine and even as the original.

I tried to mend some small holes on the white part of the border as I went. Here I did some darning on an isolated worn spot.

This section had multiple shreds, so I have basted a patch in place that will be stitched down.

I was going to leave the edge of the strip as a straight line, but now I think my final step will be to trim and whipstitch the backing fabric to follow the zigzag border. More work, but I think it will blend in better.


  1. Very wabi-sabi. I love this process.

  2. my absolute favorite is the darning
    on the worn spot. love.

  3. such beautiful work! i'm very glad to see details of the process.

  4. love seeing this, and your intense concentration

  5. you work with such care and tenderness. this picture of you in process is the best.. that's just how it feels to be doing tiny hand sewing.. like a marionette in flux above the fabric of space and time.. the fabric endures with the skill of your performance.. the strings between you and the work piece hold the tension you put into them just so for so sew long

  6. Anonymous8:24 PM

    This a lovely thing you are doing.

  7. Love the photos of the process.

  8. What a terrific work and how much patience in restauring this beautiful quilt. I love when a well done darning is visible, it adds to the charme of the piece.


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