Heirloom Quilt Repair
My great-grandmother's quilts have been in the family for decades, but some are beginning to look a bit worse for the wear. What happens then? They receive a new backing and get themselves patched up for a few more years of use. Family quilts are made to be used and displayed - not locked away! But sometimes, a quilt needs a little bit of extra love and care to be used again. That's where I come in. Read on to learn about my process and rates.
Q: How do I know if my quilt is worth repairing?
A: Before doing ANY repairs on a quilt (50+ years old) I highly recommend having the quilt appraised, especially if the quilt has unique origins, features a rare pattern or fabric, is very old, or if you plan on selling it. Sometimes a quilt is worth more in its original (albeit worn-out) state than it is with repairs or alterations. Visit the American Quilter's Society's page to find an appraiser near you, or you can do a Google search to find other qualified persons in your area.
If you have no ambitions for selling your quilt and it still has good bones (that is, it just needs a new backing or a few patches or stitches here and there), it's time to look into getting it repaired. If you are interested in my services, please have detailed photos of the damage ready upon request.
Q: How do I clean my quilt and prepare it for repairs?
A: The harsh chemicals and agitators used in dry cleaning can damage old quilts, as can machine washing. If a quilt must be washed, use a gentle, quilt-friendly soap like Orvis for a tub-soak. (Read more on cleaning your quilt in this great article by the National Quilters Circle.)
Before shipping your quilt, package it carefully in plastic wrapping or a zipper linens bag and inside a sturdy box. Include a tracking service and as much insurance in your shipping cost as you deem appropriate.
Q: What all goes into having my quilt repaired by The Hazel Shope?
A: Every part of the process is documented. I'll take before and after photos of your quilt and use these in the restoration process to ensure the repairs match the original handwork as closely as possible. If your quilt is in need of a new backing or a replacement patch, I will endeavor to find a fabric, color, and pattern that matches the original. Repairs may be done on machine or by hand as appropriate to ensure the work lasts while maintaining the quilt's authenticity.
Q: How much will repairing my quilt cost, and how do I pay?
A: I charge an initial deposit of $100 to cover materials, labor, and return shipping costs. Labor is $15 an hour, and fabric costs between $7-$12 a yard (although I do my best to make your dollar stretch by hitting up sales whenever possible). If the final cost of the repairs comes in under the amount of the deposit, you will be refunded the surplus. If the total cost is higher, an additional invoice will be sent to you, and your quilt will be returned once full payment has been received. All invoices and payments are transacted through PayPal.
Q: I have an old quilt that I think may be beyond repair, but I still want to display it or use it somehow.
What can I do?
A: Don't get rid of it just yet! If your quilt is about to be given the "Do Not Resuscitate" order, think again. I would be happy to work with you to come up with a way to salvage some of the original work. Sometimes pieces of a well-loved quilt can be saved and incorporated into a new quilt, a pillowcase, a shadowbox, or a tapestry. We'll make it work!