June 30, 2015

Quilt surgery

After piecing together some diamonds for a Lone Star quilt, I decided one of the fabrics was not working well.  Four small diamonds of this fabric were already in place, so it would take some surgery to replace them.  I wasn't thrilled about tackling this -- I was afraid it could go really badly -- but I felt I would not be happy with the quilt if I did not take this step.

The process would require exposing some bias edges, so I added some stay stitching along these edges before unpicking the seams.

The gray/aqua batik is the one to be replaced.  (I continued the stay stitching across this piece just to avoid some starts and stops.  And looking at this photo, I realize the stitches on the right should have extended up one more diamond.)

I also added stay stitches to the new fabric, before sub-cutting the strip.

After unpicking the seams, I was left with this hole:

I stitched in the new diamond, working in reverse order from how the seams were unpicked, so I attached the top and bottom edges first:

Then I sewed the side seams and removed the stay stitches:

It's not a perfect alignment, but it's no worse than the original.

The process was tedious, but not particularly difficult.  Here is the center with all four replacement diamonds in place:

I had begun work on some outer diamonds using the same "bad" fabric.  I ended up discarding one strip set and remaking it (since I had already sub-cut that strip set); for the few remaining strip sets I just had to replace the one strip.

I'm pleased with how the diamonds are looking now; I think this was a worthwhile step.

I'm linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday.


  1. Turned out just great!
    What a cool idea with the extra stitching! Well done :-)

  2. I have this issue too. I have quilted a wall hanging with vintage fabric, and one fabric is really weak and is splitting. I've been putting this off, but maybe it's time for quilt "open heart surgery". Your post is inspiring me.

  3. I'm impressed by your fortitude. I'm not sure if I could go back and replace pieces.