The Worn, Wonky & Found Quilt Top

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IMG_2331The worn wonky and found quilt top
I have gotten a number of requests since my long-arm Jenny and I started on our quilting journey to finish and repair old quilt tops. Cherished quilt tops. Quilt tops that have been carefully folded away because the maker never got around to finishing them. But the people who inherited them don’t see the “flaws” that perhaps the quilter did and only sees the time and love that their family member spent on them.
At first I just said no to any hand pieced tops or older quilts. I was afraid. Afraid of damaging further these acts of love. I put people in contact with hand quilters and/or suggested framing the quilt tops. But as Jenny and I got more and more attuned to one another I started to rethink my stance. Maybe, just maybe, I could. So on the next request I sat down and came up with a plan.
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I would increase my stitch length and decrease my stitch speed. Then I’d “stitch the ditch” or next to the ditch where the fabric was very worn. I would “reshape” the blocks as best I could and stitch around any holes or fraying. I would do a layer of muslin/fabric under the top and on top of the batting and backing. Using this to help further stabilize the quilt. Where there wasn’t to much damage or the like I would do a simple quilting design that would hopefully enhance the original intent.
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I tried it. And I loved it. It took me an average of 20-60 minutes a block. The quilt was heavy for the extra layers. But sturdy! In the end I loved the blocks that were the most damaged, I felt they had told me a story.  I debated at length over binding the quilt to show the frayed edges and to make the quilt more square. But decided in the end, this quilt, was to large and heavy and perhaps that wouldn’t be the best idea. But next time…
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So now I am offering this as a service. Because of the length of time this takes I’ll need a minimum a month turn around. Also I’ll have to charge a minimum .045 a square inch for the quilting. Of course binding, fabric, material and batting etc charges will be at my standard pricing.
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