Tag Archives: repair

A Special Project for my Brother

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It’s done!

After Christmas, my little brother gave me his whole cloth baby quilt our grandmother made for him over 40 years ago with the mission to “save it.”

The back was transparent and dry rotted. Many of the original hand ties were missing. The edges were frayed and poking out. The quilt was oddly lumpy.

I really struggled with where to start. I considered patching it, but then quickly realized it was too damaged to just be patched. It’s a quilt full of love and meaning for my brother and I wanted to make sure I did this right.

I shared the “before” quilt on Talk to Me Tuesday earlier this week and then I just dove in. I had to fix this quilt and it wasn’t getting done sitting on the table in my sewing room!

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In the end, I took the whole thing apart, carefully picking out every stitch. The inside was layers of old sheets and flour sacking!

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One of the layers was completely shredded and had turned into fluff, which created the random lumps. I sprinted the vintage fluff outside for birds to use in their nests.

To complete my mission to save this quilt, I hand washed the original fabric top and added a super lightweight fusible to the back for stability and to help close some of the tiny holes created by the ties.

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I kept the sheet that was inside for the weight but replaced the shredded flour sacking with my favorite Hobb’s 80/20 batting. I carefully basted the top, batting, and old sheet and then serged the edges together.

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Then I added a new soft flannel back, rebasting and hand tying to keep it as close to the original configuration as possible.

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The back is turned to the front and stitched. The finish is as close to the same as I could make it.

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I shared a photo with my brother and he’s a happy camper. It’s already in the mail back to him.

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This was a very emotional project and I felt like I was communing with our grandmother while I worked on the quilt. I did record a bit for TTMT before shipping this guy off, so look for that next Tuesday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Dish Towel Rescue Mission…commence!

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

This is one of my favorite dish towels. It’s horrible, frayed and falling apart. It’s stained from family pizza night and wiping up messes after my kids.

But it’s absorbent and rugged and I love it the waffle-y-ness of it.

Maybe I’ve loved this one a bit too much.

Finally, I decided to rescue this dish towel. The mission: patch the gnarly hole and make my dish towel fabulous again. Alright, okay, maybe not fabulous, but at least functional and not-so-scary.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
The first step was to find a scrap of fabric that would be wide enough to patch the hole, while being long enough to go across and around the towel plus a couple of inches for overlapping (see below). I also pulled out a couple of different threads to decide what color I’d like to use.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

Hem along the length of the fabric trip, top and bottom.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

Lay the towel across the fabric strip, making sure the scary bit will be covered.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Fold fabric strip over, smoothing and pinning so the pieces are even.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Fold over end and pin in place.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
I wanted a distinct stitch, so I chose an extra wide one on my sewing machine, D50. This particular stitch goes back and forth three times.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Use the fun stitch of your choice and stitch all the way around the patch. See that pin? Pull it out. You definitely do not want to stitch across it!

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
If you have a walking foot, use it! You are sewing on a towel after all and a walking foot will help pull the thickness through. Hmm, need to dust my sewing machine…

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Turn the corner and keep on stitching!

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
After the outside edges are stitched, I changed to white thread and stitched rows along the patch. Remember, the inside of this patch is scary, loose, falling-apart towel. Extra stitching will give the towel spiffy new stability.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Turn the patch and stitch the other way.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Rescue mission complete! It’s still not perfect, and it still has some funky pizza stains, but it’s usable and won’t go to the landfill.

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

I have a couple more towels like this and am thinking it would be fun to add some patchwork for a fun repair!

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Craft: Stampin’ on Stained Jeans



I found these fabulous unfinished kitchen chairs at the thrift store for $3 each.  A little wood stain and some clear coat later, and they are fabulous and in-use.

Unfortunately, I managed to forget to not put my knees down on the tarp I had covering the garage floor and got matching brown spots on both of my knees.   Did I mention I was wearing one of my favorite pairs of jeans?  You might remember them from the Hem Extension post.

I wore them once with the stained spots and it drove me crazy, so I had to think of something else.

My first thought was applique patches, but I’m really busy lately and that would take a bit longer than I have to invest.    I have loads of paint and a lot of stamps, so, hey, why not?  They were already in bad shape and I couldn’t possibly make  it worse.

You’ll Need:

  • Acrylic Fabric Paint a shade or two darker than the spot you want to cover
  • stamp big enough to cover the spots
  • small paper plate or piece of freezer (or wax) paper
  • foam brush


Smooth jeans out, with spots facing up and easy to reach.

Place a small amount of paint on the plate or paper.  Use the sponge brush to add paint to the stamp.  Don’t dip the stamp in the paint or you’ll end up with a blob of paint on the fabric.


Place the stamp on top of the stain and gently press.


Repeat.


I added a few more stamps to give a sort of pattern and now my favorite jeans have a bit more wear!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

How To: Repair a Broken Seam Ripper



In case you haven’t heard, March is Mending Month.  I do a lot of mending both on clothes and on items around the house, but nothing terribly exciting has popped up recently that seemed worth sharing.

Then I broke the little red tip off the head of my seam ripper and proceeded to stab myself in the thumb.  Ouch!   Now, a seam ripper is a super cheap tool and I have dulled my fair share of them.  This particular one is fairly new and I hated to buy a new one when it’s still in fine stitch-picking shape.  While casting my mind around for a solution to this problem, my eyes landed on my tray of ball head straight pins.

Now there’s a thought!

It took about 5 minutes, and that’s including the time it took for me to run and grab my camera!

You’ll need:


  • Seam Ripper
  • ball head straight pin (You could also use a bead, though the centers of all the ones I tried were much too large.)
  • two pairs of jewelers pliers
  • glue (optional)


seam ripper with broken head


Using the jeweler’s pliers, remove the pin from the ball head.


ball head with pin removed


If the opening in the  ball head is too small to fit, place the pin on the point of the seam ripper and gently turn to enlarge the existing hole.


Place the ball head on the broken part of the seam ripper head.  Use the pliers to apply enough pressure to secure the head in place.  Be very careful, the seam ripper point is sharp!

If the ball head you’re using doesn’t seem secure, use a tiny dot of Super, Tacky or hot melt glue.



Wallah!  Repaired!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

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