Monday, 22 April 2013

Cheryl's Quilt

This is my colleague, Cheryl's quilt...her first machine pieced quilt (she usually pieces by hand)

It's gorgeous. I love the colours of the Carpenter's Star and the old pink background. The pink and green seem to go so well together.

Why am I showing this? Cheryl did this quilt 2 years ago and when it was finished put it away. Unfortunately she had a very bad experience with having it machine quilted by a longarm quilter which literally wrecked the appearance of the quilt. We were looking at this today and seriously, it is quite fact, the whole story is quite unbelievable...

here are some close ups:

This is the pattern...huh?!
Horrendous stitching all around

The quilt came back with several cuts in it

Puckers galore on the back

I could show you more but will spare is actually quite painful to look at this. Apparently she did take this up with the quilter at the time but was told that her quilt was not well constructed, hence those mishaps. When looking at it today, I thought that this was a bit of a cheap excuse...yes, the points do not match exactly and it may not have been dead straight, but that does not account for the poor workmanship and certainly does not excuse actually damaging the quilt. If this was unquiltable, where was the phone call back to Cheryl saying...I don't think I can quilt this with my longarm.

I have seen work by some very talented longarm quilters, so hopefully this is an isolated example of really poor quality and one also hopes that this longarm quilter is out of business by now, but I reckon it serves as a reminder to check the work of the quilter that you are entrusting your quilt to and to be clear about beforehand what you accept and what is simply unacceptable.

Anyway, we decided today to rescue this quilt... (and may live to regret it). We will undo the stitching which should be quite easy as the stitches are incredibly loose, then take it off, repair some of the seams that have been ripped (probably fro trying to stretch it), and re-baste it and see what can be done.

Any ideas about the cut in the fabric...the cut above is the largest (the other ones are more like little nips here and there and can be quilted over)...not really sure what one could do with that.

This should be very interesting...

I am linking up with Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch in the hope that someone has some ideas about the cut in the fabric



  1. I dont know a lot about repair work, so I cant help there. I do commend yall on taking on the project though, it is way too pretty to let someone destroy it. I'm positive her experience isnt that of all long arm'ers. It is an art like anything else - some people are very well practiced and stars. Others, well, This is others.

  2. +^(&^ &*%^!.................. yeah, you can just imagine what I'm saying here. I cant believe for one second, that cuts, poor stitch quality and puckers at the back has anything to do with the piecing process! I sure hope you can repair it, its so beautiful, and I love the colour combination. I hope find a solution to repair it. What about applique? Maybe adding addition shapes/flowers randomly...

  3. What a terrible experience. This is why I am always afraid to send out my quilts.

  4. On behalf of all of us longarmers who do good work, I'm sorry your friend had to experience this! No doubt it's inexcusable but let's focus on what can be done to repair it. I also do reparations on quilts and sometimes it's tears like you've shown. I use a small strip of lightweight fusible interfacing on the back and then using as small a width as I can get away with, satin stitch over the tear with a matte-finish thread. This is still going to be visible in most circumstances but it's usually not as noticeable amongst the quilting (when done properly!). Otherwise, you can do as Marelize suggested & add some appliqué bits. I would still put a bit of interfacing on the back to help stabilise the area. Hope this helps!

  5. Someone I know had a quilt in a show and when I saw the back, it had these appliqued circles. I asked why circles on the back, and she said that after her first show the quilt came back torn, and she covered the tears with the circle applique.

    I have used both fusible interfacing as well as fusing a piece of fabric to the back of the tear. I would just quilt over that spot instead of satin stitching and making it stand out more.

  6. Oh my! That is terrible! Honestly, I have thought about taking a couple of my quilts to a long arm quilter, but I live in an area where I don't have many options and I am afraid something of this sort would happen...
    So glad you are rescuing the quilt! It is very lovely! What a terrible experience.

  7. My condolences to your friend, Cheryl. I can understand that she put the quilt away. Anger, hurt, betrayed, frustrated.... Glad to see you are willing to help a friend to make the quilt right. And hope you are able to help repair her feelings, as well. Applique is the only solution I could think of for the tears. Something good will come of this... Strengthening a friendship and giving that beautiful quilt a chance to be seen as it should be.

  8. ummm, was this her first longarm experience? That is possibly the ugliest quilt pattern (sorry) I have ever seen! And the rips? Seriously? I would say to applique,too! Hopefully, you have a bit of the same fabric left and it will disappear! I don't think I could trust my quilt tops to anyone else to quilt for me. I'm to much of a control freak.


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