Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Dog Ate My Quilt

Destroyin’ Norman, the Labrador Retriever is one lucky dog. When his owner brought me the product of his labor (1st photo), I wasn’t sure I could put Humpty Dumpty together again. The Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt was over 70 years old and fragile. Now a dog had taken a big bite out of it. How is one supposed to age gracefully with a chunk missing?

The first thing I did was look at it for a day, hoping some magic power would come through my eyeballs and fix it. When that didn’t work, I got busy. One of the half flowers at the border needed replacing as did a 2 foot section of the border itself. The batting, back and binding for the section also had to be replaced (next 3 pictures). Then the new section would have to be hand quilted, matching the stitches of the original quilter (“Good luck with that,” Norman chuckled). Two big challenges were finding fabric that matched the old border fabric, and trying to attach the new section to old fragile material. Finding the fabric was easier than I thought it would be; thank goodness Depression era colors are popular right now. Getting everyone to play together nicely was another matter.

The old border fabric and the background hexagons are very delicate, and fell apart in places when machine sewing was attempted. After more than a few Diva Moments (“This looks like trash, and trash is not allowed to exist in my presence!”), trying the Magic Eyeball trick again, and walking away a couple of times to mutter to myself, everything finally came together and stayed together. I wondered if there was a place I could take the quilt to have all the negative energy removed, but decided a good airing would do just as well.

Norman is out of the dog house for now...


  1. What a lovely quilt. I'm glad you were able to find the patience to work on it. The first quilt I ever made was grandmother's flower garden. I often wonder what happened to it.
    Ann Summerville
    Cozy In Texas

  2. Thank you so much! My patience wore thin a couple of times because there was no consistency in sizing. The border section I repaired was 2" on one end and 2 3/4" on the other. I love old fabrics so much, I guess it's worth a little aggravation.