In for a penny, in for a pound...

I spent a good chunk of the Super Bowl continuing repair work on the 1880s scrap quilt, Oregon Trail. It's been a bit disheartening at times; I keep reminding myself that everything I fix means this will be a better and stronger quilt when it is finally finished, but I've reached that psychological point where I'm ready to just be done with mending the damned thing already, and getting the reward of moving on to quilting it.

I did finally get some photos of what had been done to it, though. It was hard to describe in text when I said that part of the quilt had blown out (in the wash, maybe?) and pieces roughly hacked out from the bottom and crudely sewn over the holes in a rough approximation of repair. It's easier shown than explained.

Instead of unpicking the stitches and replacing the damaged fabrics with fresh, a section was cut out of the bottom of the quilt and roughly appliquéd atop the damaged fabric, as you can see here.

Blog entry: section, belowdecks

['Patched section, belowdecks']

That's shot from the bottom of the quilt top, obviously. You can see the hole, and through it see what was sewn over it. Fixing this problem meant removing both layers, constructing a new piece that matched in color and pattern, and grafting it into place. Here's what the same area looked like, partway through the repair:

At this point, I've done what should've been done in the first place: I've unstitched the patch as well as the damaged fabric, and started splicing in fresh, undamaged fabric in the right colors. Here, i still ahve two sashing pieces left to repair, as well as the top piece of the blue-and-red diamond figure. (Extra credit: the safety pin on the left side of the photo indicates another piece with damage.)

Blog entry: sewn back in

['Mostly sewn back in']

I've been working my way up the quilt, looking for pieces with holes -- surprisingly few, given the age of the quilt top -- and further horrendous patches. I was hoping to find a patch that was so obviously bad a single photograph would suffice. I think this will do!

As I worked my way up the quilt top, checking for damage, I saw this and I thought ... oh no, I know what this is. This section, marked with a safety ping, is yet another instance of a patch being cut from the bottom of the quilt top and being slapped over a damaged section with appliqué stitching.

Only one thing to do: unpick the stitching holding the patch in place, remove the damaged fabric, and repair the hole. In for a penny, in for a pound...

['In for a penny, in for a pound']

If you look in the center of the photo, you'll see it -- and you'll cringe. I think even a complete novice at sewing knows this is NOT the way to do this repair. This isn't a tweed jacket. Don't slap a patch on it. Remove the broken bits entirely and replace them with new. Sure, it takes longer, but it rebuilds, not destroys.


Despite my bellyaching, though, it's coming along. I'm getting damaged pieces repaired faster than I'm finding them, which tells me I'm past the tipping point. Once I finish this current round of damage checks/repairs, I'm hoping that I'm done with repairs, but I won't know for certain until it finally passes a thorough repair check without issues.

In the meantime, though, Edmund has opinions on how much time I should spend repairing vs. how much time I should spend rubbing his ears. I think you can guess his opinion in this picture:

After unpicking two pieces of damaged fabric, all 17 pounds of Edmund decided it was time for me to stop paying attention to the ratty old quilt top and pay attention to HIM, dammit. See those unpetted ears? Dire, I tell you, dire!

Blog entry: declares a work stoppage

['Edmund declares a work stoppage']

See those ears? In dire need of a rub, they are. Never mind that Crystal visited this weekend, and would have been happy to rub his grumpy little ears, but nooooo.

It's hard being Edmund.


I know for me it took seeing it to totally understand what you meant by the "repair" that had been done, but this entry covered it!

And poor Edmund. I tried! I would get to the ear rub, ear rub, then... "ATTACK. YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER!" 

Shouldn't it be "In for a penny, in for 17 pounds?" :)