Instructables
Picture of Mend your Favorite Quilt
As soon as I moved to Arizona, the top of my quilt started to disintegrate. Was it the dry air? The fabric just seemed to crack and shred. My cat had nothing to do with it, I swear. My mother made me this quilt some time ago, and I can't bear to see it so broken.

Is your quilt falling apart? Here's a way to patch up broken pieces.

You'll need:
Fabric that matches the original quilt
a sewing machine or hand needle and thread
scissors
paper
a ruler
an iron
a plastic ruler and rotary cutter with mat (optional)
 
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Step 1: Make Paper Templates

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Make a paper template of each sized piece you'll be patching using a piece of plain paper. I did this by laying the paper down on the quilt and folding it to size, then I cut off the excess.

Take your real-size paper template and lay it out on a new piece of paper and add the seam allowance (I used 5/8"). This will be the template for the patches.

Step 2: Cut the patches

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I use a plastic ruler and a rotary cutter, but you can use scissors, too. Just cut as many as you need.

Step 3: Iron the patches to size

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Using your seam allowance paper template layered under a single patch, fold the fabric down to the original sized piece line on the template and iron. Repeat for all sides. Using steam, the paper will curl, but not burn. Repeat for all patches. Trim off the "tails" on the diagonal edge.

Step 4: Sew or embroider on the patches

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Affix the patch to the torn spot on the quilt with pins, and top-stitch it in place or use embroidery to attach it any way you like.

Step 5: You're done!

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Repeat for all spots that need patching. You can see I've still got a long way to go on mine...
timrshep8 months ago

Thanks for sharing this. I recently snagged my 12 year old mom-made quilt, which stupid-sucks cause I live about 5k miles away from her, am a 'mama's boy' and, never learned how to sew--in spite of growing up with my mom who teaches quilting, lol.

TIP FOR MEN FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS:

NOTE: The replacement fabric need not necessarily match the quilt. You can actually patch it with any flavor fabric and this method still works. Functionality is indeed its own kind of aesthetic.

PS: The cat element in your guide rocks.

Thank you for putting up a tutorial like this! I was tossing around ideas on how to restore the first quilt I made about 17 years ago. It's not a work of art, I don't care if I use the same colors, I sure as heck don't plan to hang it on the wall. Most of the other repair guides are all about saving antiques. Our cruddy old "leftover shirts and sheets" quilt has regular use, so it's trashed, but a new quilt just doesn't feel the same, and I have scraps coming out the windows here, so there you go. I have no use for quilts you can't snuggle. Puh-leeze. So it's confirmed... get squares a bit bigger than the ones on the blankie, iron the edges under, sew into place.
BethLP3 years ago
Here's a tip: when repairing an old quilt, try flipping over the repair fabric and using the back. The colors will be softer and blend with the faded original fabric better.
ChatOmbre6 years ago
This is great -- thank you! I have some quilts that my great-grandmother made that I've wanted to mend. (I've got to learn how to sew first, but still, this helps me feel like it might not be quite as difficult as I was afraid.) I don't have any of the fabric she used, but maybe I can try to find something similar... hmm... As for the "Don't sit on your quilts if you want them to last" bit, yeah, that's true in a way, but also... one of the things that I adore about quilts is that they're art that is useful! I have one of the quilts my great-grandmother made on my bed, and I think it's sort of like I'm wrapped up in her love at night, and that's what keeps me warm... so I like to actually make use of quilts. :)
canida6 years ago
Wow, that's really going to be a labor of love. Post another picture when you're done! That cat in step 5 definitely looks like he's up to something. ;)
Sunbanks canida6 years ago
You can see it in the kitty's eyes.
Nah, that cats looks much too lazy to be up to anything. ;)
Fruppi6 years ago
I'm adding you to favorites! I've got a comforter upstairs that needs some major work! Thanks!
lynnwords6 years ago
Thanks for this, I have favorite quilts 20 and 40 years old which I have tried to mend... now I can get a great result using your instructions!
clamoring6 years ago
Fantastic instructable! Concise and to the point. I can't wait to try it on my great-grandmother's quilt, which I have loved for many years. Unfortunately, the backing has the worst wear!
My mom always says "Don't sit on your quilts if you want them to last"... and as much as I love my mother's advice my quilts have always looked exactly the same as yours over time. It's really not an overnight process but it seems to be because the wear & tear isn't noticeable until all of a sudden it looks like that. Oh yes, and washing your quilts often will give you the same problem.
j$6 years ago
what kind of freak stuff wears a quilt like that?
qwerty902106 years ago
az doesn't do anything to do with quilts (my mom has the snuggliest quilts) may be the cat has duel pursonalities lol
darkmuskrat6 years ago
Dang, my sewing machine broke...No quilt or cosplay for me :(
i eat quilts when im hungry lol just kidding