This quilt was rescued from the dumpster at Bibles for Missions, a thrift store in Chatham, Ontario. My brother bought it with the intention of cutting it up for padding for another project. My sister in law, horrified that he would cut up a quilt, rescued it from him and then gave it to me to clean and repair.
The quilt was VERY dirty, so I soaked it in the tub several times, gently squishing suds through it to get it much, much cleaner. I then repaired the ripped seams with careful blind stitches. I patched holes and frayed bits as appropriate. In some areas, the quilting stitching is broken, but I decided to leave it be, since my own hand stitching is distinct from this quilter’s stitch and the difference in consistency would make it immediately noticeable as a repair. The tattered white binding was removed and then replaced it with a red fabric of similar vintage and intensity. The quilt looks strikingly better and I am pleased with the result. I think the original quilter would be happy with my rescue of her work.
While working on it, I wondered if I was merely wasting my time on a quilt that was clearly past its prime. However, last summer, I entered the quilt in the fall fair category of yard sale/thrift shop quilt and won first prize. That felt like a confirmation that all of my effort on this rescue quilt was worth it.
Now it is living a second life as a Christmas decoration that is brought out of storage only in December. It adds a lovely festive touch to our family room and is soft and cozy to snuggle under while watching Christmas movies.