Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Restore and Repair

It is FINALLY cold enough here for quilts. Well....not really. But it's well under 100 degrees and I'll take what I can get. It is getting into the 40's at night though. The windows stay open all day to let that gloriously chilled air permeate through the house and I've been wearing cardigans while I go about my duties. But in the evenings when we settle in to read or watch yet another episode of Mad Men on Netflix (I'm in love with Joan Harris) the breeze proves to be a bit much for me and rather than close the windows, I snuggle under my most favorite quilt.

It is indeed a most special quilt. My great grandmother made it almost seventy years ago. It's not fancy; it was made to keep people warm, not to hang on a wall. It's a simple nine patch with crooked quilting and a hand sewn binding and I adore it. It's the perfect size and weight, and the seventy or so years of use have worn it buttery soft and snuggly. When the weather turns, it makes it's way from the linen closet to a more permanent spot on the back of the couch where it can pulled down for an impromptu reading session or a quick nap at a moments notice.

While my son and I were snuggling under said quilt the other day, I noticed his little toe thrust into a hole on the quilt top. I pulled it out, explaining that his toe would only make the hole bigger. He nodded and pulled the quilt over to expose another hole and wiggled his toe into it. "There Mama," he said. "I'll just use his hole instead."

Throughout its seventy year history, my well loved quilt is falling apart. The seams are separating, the thread is disintegrating, and snags are turning into holes. Though the "American" thing to do is to buy another, I feel there is simply no need. Yes, the quilt is sentimental to me but even if I would have bought it at a yard sale, it's still good and deserves to be saved. I cannot buy the softness and comfort this quilt possesses. And so, as unhappy as my son will be to lose his "toe warming holes" my poor quilt is in desperate need of repair if it to survive another season!

Most of the damage is on the seams of the nine patch. The thread has worn away to nothing and the cotton is thin and fraying. Eventually, I will have to patch it but for now I used no sew hem tape to close things up and keep wandering toes from making things worse. I also stitched a few of the smaller holes to keep  them from tearing further. Half an hour of work will hopefully keep my most favorite quilt in service for a few more years. Here's to hundreds more hours of snuggle time!


1 comment:

  1. I have a quilt like this and haven't got around to fixing it up. My mom has picked the stitches out to remove really frayed patches and hand-stitched new ones back in. These old quilts ARE worth the time it takes to restore them!