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Monday, 20 February 2017

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique]


Remember this quilt?  I made it way back in 2013 for my husband - who had been complaining for some time that I hadn't made him a quilt when "even the dog's got two".  So I finally made him his own quilt using his 100% cotton shirts and some linen shirts and trousers.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Well, that quilt has been loved and used and washed and used and loved some more and sadly one of the linen shirts I'd used just didn't hold up to all the wear and tear leaving two squares of the quilt in this sad condition - yes that is the batting you can see 😢

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

So last month I set about replacing those two blocks.  I wasn't looking for perfection - I was looking to make the quilt usable again so the method I used is relatively quick and pretty easy to do - here's how I did it.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks

First I made two replacement blocks to the same size and block style that I made the original blocks - if you don't have an original pattern to follow simply make sure you make a block to the same size as the whole PLUS half an inch in each direction to allow for 1/4" seams.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

This next stage took the longest - I unpicked the original quilting and block seams to release the torn block.  I unpicked the seams half an inch past the point I needed to and kept the threads long so I could knot and bury them. The photo below shows you how the back of the quilt looked once I'd unpicked the stitches.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

This is how the quilt top looked once the block was removed

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

and take a look at that removed worn block!

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Using a disappearing pen I drew lines around 4 sides of the made block at 1/4" from the edge to mark the seam allowance.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Slipping the new block inside the gap I made sure the edges were all underneath the four surrounding blocks and pinned them in place along the 1/4" marked lines.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Using a long basting stitch I stitched the surrounding blocks down, ensuring their own 1/4" seams were neatly tucked under and the fold line was against the 1/4" marked line - this is easier to achieve with the basting stitch than with pins and sewing the block in place will be easier now too.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

My basting stitches are pink - you can see them better in this photo below.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Using a 1/8"-1/16" top stitch  I stitched, through all layers of the quilt as if quilting, along the edge of the surrounding blocks to hold the new block firmly in place.  

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Note: the technique I've used is fast and easy but these four lines of securing stitching will be visible on the back of the quilt in addition to the quilt design lines.  If you want to spend longer and invisibly repair your quilt then you need to ladder stitch your new block in place by hand.  

With the block fastened in place I stitched the quilt lines back into the quilt, starting and ending at the points I'd previously unpicked the stitches at.  The stitching on the back of the quilt is very obvious at present but a few months of use and washing and loving will soon knock the colour of those threads back to match the rest.

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

And my husband was very grateful to have his quilt back in use again - it's been on the 'to do' pile for about 12 months

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

And yes, these two have already claimed it again!!!

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks

Replacing Worn Quilt Blocks [Technique] by www.madebyChrissieD.com

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16 comments:

  1. Very clever, and so thorough. Cheers for the helpful tutorial!

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  2. Thanks for the tutorial. Your little black and white dog looks like a Havanese; is he/she? I have 2. Your puppies are so cute and your hubbies quilt is very cool.

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    1. Hi MaryBeth - both of my dogs are Havanese - well the black and white one is a Havapoo but I can't see the poodle in her. My other dog is a silver point male Havanese. They both have the most amazing characters, but you'll know that having Havanese yourself, aren't they just the best family dogs? :D

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  3. Thanks! I hope I never have to do it but it's sure good to know how!

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  4. This was fascinating Chrissie! Now I don't feel bad that my 4 years old quilt is falling apart due to kitten scratches several years back :) I am not replacing any fabrics as they were also damaged by the sun and a few of them are faded really bad.

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    1. It's not hard to replace them Kati but takes a bit of time so the quilt needs to be worthy of the effort!

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  5. Thanks for the guidance! I really love that quilt.

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  6. Brilliant way to replace blocks, thank you

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  7. That is amazing. I love the pin-tucking blocks they are amazing!

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  8. Thanks for this post. My mom made us several quilt years ago, and the dogs loved them a little too much in spots. Now I have an idea of how to fix them.

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    1. Give it a go Susan. It's a bit time consuming but it's not at all difficult. Work on one block at a time and it doesn't feel as daunting :D

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  9. I had no idea you could even do this. It looks great after the replacement, as if nothing had happened! Thank you for sharing this tutorial at The Really Crafty Link Party.

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  10. That's brilliant! I would probably just add a plain old layer over the top but this way it's hard to even see you've done a repair. It seems to be a very sort after quilt in your house!

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Chris Dodsley