Yesterday, I went to my longarm to attach Snowflake Whimsy and continue quilting. When I arrived, the quilt was on the floor rather than across the stretcher bars where I left it… No matter, it must have been one of the pets… I didn’t think much about it until after I had the quilt pinned to the leads and positioned the machine over the checkerboard wheel . That is when I saw it – the CAT-ASTROPHY. There was an inch long tear in the Breeze (light) fabric. The tell-tale sign of cat mischief. He must have leaped onto the quilt, thinking it was secure, which it wasn’t. As he and the quilt fell, he stretched out those razor claws and tore the fabric trying to catch himself.
With all the hours of work already invested, I had to fix it… Glue was not an option as I didn’t plan to quilt over the light colored blocks. That meant, the only other option was to replace the block. It isn’t a difficult process, but irritating given I was in the midst of quilting. If you ever have a cat-astrophy and need to replace a piece, I documented the process for your amusement.
Step 1 – Gently pick out the threads of the seam around the torn piece of fabric. I have a very sharp seam ripper that helps. Be careful not to pick the threads past the block.
Step 2 – Remove any stray threads so that you have a clean space. I was fortunate that my wheel is appliqued to the background fabric. Therefore, the batting isn’t showing through and won’t shed. As you can see, the cat-astrophy caused a bit of shedding (lint on the dark fabric).
Step 3 – Find a piece of fabric approximately the same size as the one you removed. The piece I removed was cut at angles for a wedge. The replacement was square. The difference in shape wouldn’t matter as the neighboring fabrics are dark. This means the shadow of the fabric won’t show through the neighboring pieces.
Step 4 – Place the new fabric patch in the hole. If you are able, put a bead of water soluble (Elmer’s) glue around the perimeter and set it with an iron to baste it in place. Because mine was on my longarm, this wasn’t an option. Then, hand stitch the piece in place with small stitch, just catching two or three threads on the perimeter pieces. Adjust as needed to keep the piece flat and square.
If you look closely, you may be able to pick out the repaired block from the cat-astrophy. But, when I finish quilting this area, you won’t be able to tell where the repair is.
Overall, the cat-astrophy repair cost me about 30 minutes, a few choice words and an evil eye for the cat. He is forgiven. He does what cat’s do – look for a comfy spot. I guess I should be flattered that the cat finds the quilt comfy… then again, he thinks the laundry basket is comfy…. Hmmm.
Back to making matchsticks on the checkerboard today. My hope is to finish quilting this by Monday 🙂