What Must Be Replaced

My apologies for the lateness of this installment. It took a while to work out my method.

When I assessed the quilt for damage I identified 14 areas that needed to be replaced. Most of these were a result of the fabric shredding, a few places were because of stains. This quilt is 100% y-seams and none of the pieces seem to be standard size. Challenges.

Here’s my method, in painstaking detail. It’s based on a paper piecing method, which would be how I would approach making a quilt with this pattern.

Here’s what you need:

Good sewing scissors, needle and thread, tape, replacement fabric, and pattern pieces cut from cardboard for each piece of patchwork to be replaced. I traced a few pieces from various parts of the quilt, averaged, and made them uniform in size and shape. Most important were that the points of contact matched. Also, cut to finished size, no seam allowances.

They were cut with paper scissors. My Gingers used on paper turns into my Gingers used on eye sockets. That’s a different story.

Tape doughnut on a pattern piece, tape to wrong side of fabric, trim 1/2 inch around.

Then thread your needle, turn the pieces over, and tack the seam allowances down at the corners. I found that two tight nips into the same spot – catching both fold and surface – were perfect to keep it all in place.

The sharper angles of the petals needed a little more origami.

Lather, rinse, repeat. You’ll see how important it is to anchor the paper pieces to the fabric when you’re tugging things around and trying to keep the angles true.

Once you have all your pieces covered with fabric you can sew them together.

Hold two pieces with the right sides facing and take tiny nips above the paper.

Work around. Once one edge of a piece has been sewn to something you’ll have to work with it on the same plane as the rest of your work. Fine an efficient hand placement to keep everything stable. Also, cheat your thread around to the best place possible to sew things continuously. You’ll avoid gaps at the corners.

Aaaand finally

Now it’s ready to be placed into the quilt.

I snipped out the shredded star. That is Ginger-appropriate scissoring. With my quilt I had to walk a line between removing every fiber and not snipping the intact fabric and stitching. Luckily, the previous quilter found it necessary to knot off between each segment.

Once the damaged fabric is gone you can start at any point that looks good. Hold the new piece against the intact surface it will connect to and stitch as before. Pins or cardboard stabilization aren’t necessary here because you’re working against the long-ago creased seam. Make sure the points are lined up.

Work your way around. Stabilize corners and pop paper pieces out as soon as they have been fully stitched in. Any sooner and you’ll lose the clean line they provide. Once they’re out you’ll find maneuvering to be much easier.



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2 Responses to “What Must Be Replaced”

  1. mia Says:

    Wow. That’s far more than I’d dare to attempt– I have a quilt that my father’s grandmother made that needs some repair, and even though it’s all in squares and sturdy fabric, I’m still intimidate by it. 🙂

  2. woolandchocolate Says:

    Wow! Hats off to you. I have a quilt my grandmother made for me about 15 years ago that needs help, but I never dreamed of getting that into it! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

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