Thursday, June 3, 2021

Rebecca vs the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: A Corn and Beans Vintage Quilt Repair In Progress

Just as I was about to type "Good Morning, Lovelies," my grandfather clock struck noon...  Ah, well -- good afternoon, then!  Today I'm sharing the first chapter of a vintage Corn and Beans quilt repair that I'm working on for a client.  

Client's Vintage Corn and Beans Quilt, With "Window" Added By Her Dog

Why, yes -- OF COURSE I can fix that!  ðŸ˜‚. I am such a glutton for punishment, aren't I?!

This vintage Corn & Beans quilt is actually in pretty good shape overall, except for worn binding, a few small holes/open seams here and there...  and a giant window chewed right through the middle of it by my client's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel!  It's machine pieced and quilted by machine (minimally, by today's standards) and I've been mulling over how to fix it for awhile now, knowing it was coming up in my queue.

My Replacement Block, Next to the Original

When working on a vintage repair for a client, I'm charging by the hour and trying to stick as closely as possible to the agreed-upon estimate, so I start with the absolute worst damage first and try to work as efficiently as possible.  This area of the quilt needs to be completely reconstructed through all three layers, so that's where I chose to begin.

AccuQuilt HST Dies Speed Up Cutting

The quilt is made up of 12" Corn and Bean blocks consisting of 48 pieces: four 4" HSTs in each fabric and twenty 2" HSTs in each fabric.  My fabrics are new, the closest shade of turquoise solid I could find and a very pale blue solid that I bleached to an almost-white to match the original.  I cut the triangles quickly and accurately with AccuQuilt GO! 2" and 4" HST dies from my 8" Qube set (but I could have done it even faster if I had the 2" HST Multiples die that cuts 12 HSTs at a time from a single layer rather than just two).  It took me about 2 1/2 hours to piece this block from start to finish, including cutting as well as stitching.

My 12 Inch Corn and Beans Block

It would have taken me a bit longer to piece the block if it was for one of my own quilts, because I would have been pinning and fiddling and ripping and restitching to get the triangle points as perfect as possible where the seams intersect.  But with a vintage repair, I evaluate the accuracy of the original maker's piecing and take that into consideration when deciding how best to do the repairs.  My time equals money out of my client's pocket, and the goal is not to charge the client more money so I can "show up" the original quilt maker by outdoing her piecing.  The goal is to address as many of the quilt's issues as possible within the client's budget so she can continue to enjoy the quilt for years to come.  So I pressed to the dark, pinned minimally, and in those couple of spots where the tips of triangles got eaten in the seam, I left them alone.

My next step will be to patch the giant hole in the backing with a bleached mint green fabric.  I am hoping I'll be able to do that at least partially by machine for the sake of time efficiency, but there may be some hand stitching involved if the missing backing fabric extends into portions of the sashing where the quilt top is still intact.  Then I'll replace the missing cotton batting, appliqué my new quilt block over the original damaged one, and finally, replicate the machine quilting through all three layers to secure the repaired section to the rest of the quilt.  Only once this doggy damage has been repaired can I start patching small holes here and there throughout the quilt.  How does one eat an elephant?  One bite at a time...

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree


Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday


UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland


Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


viridian said...

Your piecing looks very god, from here!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

you are a glutton for punishment - but then I have done one something like this also and know the work entailed and I did it for free as it was for a family member from her deceased grandma and I love her what can I say she has been my SIL for 40 years! I think it looks like you have it well under control and looking good match up in fabric

Darlene S said...

Oh my that King Charles did some serious damage. He is lucky to not get thrown out of the Monarchy! I think you selected perfect fabrics/colors and will have this sweet vintage quilt repaired very soon.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Good luck with the repair job, Rebecca!! said...

What a story and what a project! I can't imagine doing what you are doing!!!! Best wishes that it all comes out well in the end!

piecefulwendy said...

Oh my, that doggie had a good ole time with that quilt! Your repair looks like it's coming along really well. Hope you find the backing fabric that works!

grammajudyb said...

A giant undertaking! Looks like you haven’t it “covered”! I hope you’ll show us progress along the way!

JustGail said...

What a challenge - I'll be interested how you fix it!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Um WOW!! that is quite a project - but what a lovely quilt!! I like the block you have made to fix it - and will be excited to watch your progress! I didn't know you were a quilt repairer!! this is cool to watch!

Peacemeal said...

Gotta love those puppers! But thank you for doing this - so few people are able and an even smaller number are willing to do this. You will do a great job I'm sure.

Quilting Gail said...

WOW!!! You are one BRAVE quilter to tackle this job! You've made a great start, and hopefully it continues to go smoothly!
Thank you for linking up to TGIFF!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Great attitude, Rebecca--one stitch at a time! We're all cheering for you!!!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Ouh là là, that's a big hole! Ton nouveau bloc est très beau, et je suis sure que petit à petit tu vas faire des merveilles de ce quilt abimé. It's going to be an heirloom again!
Thank you for linking up today ;)

Ivani said...

OMG look the size of that hole!!
The new block looks perfect for me.
Good luck with all the repair needed. I would love to see the quilt when you finish the repair.

chrisknits said...

I can't imagine repairing that hole! But I know you will accomplish it. So, is the dog still living? LOL!

Kathleen said...

I have never done one that big, but you are right - one bite at a time. I have done repairs and I often let them sit too long, but once I do, it is that turtle speed that gets us through.

Muv said...

My goodness, you like a challenge, don't you! If the repairs turn out to be expensive the owner can always raise the cash by selling the dog. What if it happens again? It doesn't bear thinking about.
Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks - your mammoth task is this week's featured project!
Love, Muv