IMG_0416Sometimes I don’t like to face reality. So help me out.

As you can perhaps discern from the photo here, I have a favorite quilt that has seen better days.

For quite some time I have tried to fool myself into thinking I could just patch it and it would be chic. And then the next hole springs up. And the binding has already been replaced. And the backing is full of its own itty bitty holes.

I am not just talking about the shreds you can see here. I am talking about shredded blocks all over the quilt. I am seriously afraid to even wash it at this point.

But I love this quilt. I loved it when I made it and I’ve loved the way it has softened to my form over the years. Part of the sensory loveliness is that for the inside I used two layers of soft chenille bedspreads that somebody gave me but I really had no other use for.

And those probably really would be chic if I hadn’t wrecked them by confusing them with batting because I was too young and poor to buy actual batting. The fabric was scraps, and the back was an old sheet, so this was definitely a don’t-spend-a-dime kind of project.

This thing is more than thirty years old and probably a day has not gone by that I haven’t used it in some way—on the bed, folded over the back of a sofa, or these days spread over me in the evenings in my recliner while I, you know, blog and stuff.

But clearly the end is in sight. So I need help. Here are your clues.

  1. Not every block is shredded. Most of the damage is in the outer blocks.
  2. It was originally tied at the block corners, not quilted along the seams (because quilting through double layers of chenille in straight rows would have been like, hard; very hard), so I could conceivably lift out the quilt top in some places.
  3. I like the feel and weight of the chenille. Love it, actually. The appearance finds less favor.

So tell me what to do! Is there a way to reuse, recycle, repurpose my quilt or parts of it so I can still feel how much I love it before it really is too late to do anything but put it all in a trash can? (See how I am in denial that it might already be the case.)

How do you handle when you have to admit that a season you loved is coming to an end?

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  1. Norma Snow on the October 13, 2018 remarked #

    Hi! I’m a quilter and if I lived near you I would gladly help you restore the “savable parts. I would cut out the blocks that are in tack, sew them together with borders, place a thin batting on the back, use a chenille backing, sew the 3 pieces together, add a new binding and gently tie the blocks, front to back. I’m confident this would work.

    • Olivia on the October 13, 2018 remarked #

      It’s kind of you to drop in and leave a comment on a very old post! Last winter I bought a duvet cover and put the quilt inside. I still get to enjoy the weight of it and knowing it’s there. But it really is a shredded mess on its own. My mother passed away last spring, and I got one of her handmade quilts that needs some TLC. I have much higher hopes of being to salvage it. I will replace some triangles by hand and put new borders on it and enjoy it for years to come–with the help of a quilting friend. A good winter project, don’t you think? -Olivia

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