Mending the Wedding Quilt

My husband’s mother died long before I met him, but we do have one especially precious remembrance of her: our wedding quilt. She was working on it until she couldn’t anymore, and it was finished by a neighbour, then carefully boxed up until we received it the night before our wedding. After seven-plus years of regular use, though, it’s started to wear out in a few places. I knew I should fix it, but hemmed and hawed for a while (or rather, didn’t hem (ba-dum tschaa)) as I tried to figure out the best way to do it.

Enter visible mending. I first ran across this idea on reddit — mending with the intention of showing, rather than hiding, the mend. Visible mending celebrates taking care of our items instead of throwing them out. So instead of trying to do invisible seams and hide the fact that our quilt was getting old, I chose to accentuate the fact — to take it as an opportunity to add to the quilt’s story. So with a few patches in a contrasting colour,

a hoop,

and some thread,

I was able to give new life to our wedding quilt, with just a few hours’ attention (my hand sewing is fairly slow). This small (2×2″) patch covers a place where one of the smaller squares had come un-seamed and was flapping around:

And this larger patch (3×4″) mends a place in the border that had some parallel rents. As a bonus, it serves as a handy directional guide (no more guessing which is the short edge and which the long when making the bed!).

A few months ago I probably would have just tried to sew the tears up as invisibly as I could, and probably would have ended up feeling pretty frustrated since that is hard to do. Instead, I got to add to the quilt’s story — and, I think, its beauty — and became the third woman to put her needle to its fabric. That’s neat.