repairing an heirloom quilt

repairing an heirloom quilt

hand made quilt patch repair using visible mending by slow stitch club

I made this quilt in 2012. I'm not even sure I can call it an heirloom quilt if it's only been made and used by me, but that's how it has always felt to me. I'd been living in Brighton for 6 months having graduated the year before, and was working in a haberdashery whilst volunteering for a charity and interning at a clothing recycling company. When I look back at that time I can still remember how untethered I felt, trying to figure out how to move forward with a Fashion degree under my belt but wanting to only be involved in companies that were making a difference. I also had a few health problems at the time and as I know is common for so many people in their early 20's, I struggled with it all for ages!

my first quilt from 20212 by slow stitch club(Terrible quality photo from when I finished the quilt in 2012!)

Sewing was still my therapy though, and I decided I wanted to make my first quilt using all the scraps I'd collected over the years. I also used an old duvet cover of my brothers for the back of the quilt and for the binding. I'd never made a quilt before but loved the process instantly. It was so therapeutic, and despite making lots of mistakes throughout it's still one of my favourite things I've ever made. I even changed the quilting stitches during the lockdown of 2020; they'd originally been machine sewn and I'd not done the quilt any justice with that, so I unpicked thousands of stitches to hand quilt them during a time when I needed that distraction. 

hand made quilt patch repair using visible mending by slow stitch club

And here we are now in 2023, and my dog Benji had an anxious moment and chewed a hole through it. It's a rarity for him so I felt really stung by it to start with, but I quickly remembered that the damage and wear and tear tells a story - just like with our clothing. I spent countless hours making this quilt and it's been with me for over 10 years now - in all honesty I'm surprised it hasn't needed repairing sooner!

I chose to patch the holes with super simple fabric scraps and a whip stitch using Sashiko thread to tie in with the quilting stitches. I came up with a few other ideas, but these simple patches felt like the best fit for this quilt and act as a really tactile time stamp just as the quilt itself marks that time in my twenties over a decade ago. I love visible mending and repair for that - for its ability to be able to mark a time and a memory - and in a strange way I'm excited to be able to add to these patches in years to come. 

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Thank you Adina! <3


It’s absolutely beautiful. ❤️


Thank you Trisha :) That’s amazing to hear, what an incredible heirloom for your family! I love how evocative quilts can be for the whole family and I bet yours is so treasured by everyone.


Beautiful! I made a quilt for my husband when we were dating….36 years ago, and have been repairing it for a while. I absolutely love the patches, the worn spots, the fraying binding. It’s so full of love and memories and it deserves to be repaired so it can continue to comfort, warm and shelter my family.❤️

Trisha Seifert

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