quilts with problems and a feature in homespun magazine

quilts, plants and twinkle lights

Cozy is my specialty.  I love twinkle lights on pearly gray days, lots of plants and lots of quilts. Three of my favorite old quilts have serious and progressing issues.  I’ve been thinking about fixing them for a while and one of them has reached a point that demands immediate attention. It’s a quilt emergency. The other two are technically coverlets, no batting,  so their problems can wait a while.

quilts with problems

quilt repair

The largest and most seriously forlorn quilt is loosing stuffing all over the place.  More of it is falling apart than not. It is probably not reasonable to try to fix it. And I know once I start it is a life long commitment, that it will spring new leaks and eventually be almost entirely repair with just little bits of the original fabric peeking out. I’m fine with that.

patching and mending an old quilt wabi sabi style

I’m motivated partly by my attachment to it, partly by a love for fabric and also because I think it might get interesting. I’m approaching the repair wabi sabi style, boro inspired patching and a meandering stitch.  Some patches with turned edges and some with raw edges, an improvisational yes and process embracing happenstance.  I started by basting muslin over the big problems and then working in and around those areas with smaller patches. I like doing it and I like what’s happening to it. I will keep you posted as it develops.

homespun magazine

In other quilt news the latest issue of  Homespun Magazine (Australia)  has a pattern for the quilt block on the cover and lots of other projects. They always have an impressive array of projects and patterns in every issue.

homespun magazine : ann wood

And I’m in it too! Thanks so much Homespun. Digital copies are available here.



  1. neal massey

    I am working on a very old quilt with the same issues and for the same reasons. I have been working on it off and in for 2 years. I have accepted that this project will never be completed.

  2. Rosemary B

    It is so nice to see your swweeet face.
    I have two beloved old quilts that need urgent care.
    I am trying to patch one of them with like fabrics, and that one is looking okay. The second one I want to kind of play with the colors and add an indie kind of flavor to it. They are both traditional style quilts, star blocks, about double bed size.
    My motivation is the grand babies. It is so great to have a clean quilt for them to play on since they are still tiny babies.
    I adore all of your projects, Ann

  3. Pleases share more of your quilting style and techniques. They look lovely

  4. Congratulations on the AU press — nice!
    Your little red bird is adorable on the table of contents page.
    Having creative pleasure & international applause is wonderful–your talent is spot-on!

  5. Sue Humberstone

    Hi , greetings from North Wales ! I love receiving your emails and seeing the things you create- they are wonderful. I have had a first attempt at using your pattern for tiny mice- we are off to family wedding today and I have tried(!!) to make a bride and groom- my groom is looking slightly shabby but the thought was there . I have bought the merry wobbler so that is going to be my next project !! Thank you x

  6. Congratulations, Ann! Enjoy turning your old quilt into a work of art. Like life, we put in the patches, and the whole becomes something different and equally beautiful.



  7. So beautiful. I have a stack of old quilt appliqué I haven’t decided what to do with, but it makes me happy just pulling it out and looking at all the amazing vintage fabrics.

    I’ve signed up for your dollmaking class in LA (I’m just north of there, in Ventura) and I’m beyond thrilled about the opportunity to spend a day stitching with you 🙂

  8. Ann:

    Love to read that you will be repairing the quilt. There is just something about old quilts with their softness of fabric and the memories of what the fabrics once were. I have a quilt from my grandmother that I love just looking at the fabrics that were used to make it.
    Did you see this fashion designer who is using old quilts for clothing? Emily Bode — https://www.gq.com/story/emily-bode-profile-nyfw-preview Not sure how I feel about using quilts this way.

  9. Love the thought of bringing an old quilt back to life. You do amazing work. Your Norfolk Pine looks lovely too!

  10. What a wonderful old quilt – please let us see its progress from time to time. I am currently mending a blue and white bears paw quilt I made in the 1970’s and which is beginning to show its age. I decided to mend it in random fabrics provided they are blue and/or white and its getting more characterful with each patch. I like it better now than when I first made it. I find myself searching for holes or splitting seams just so I can add a little patch mend. I blame the wabi sabi book I bought a while ago…..

  11. Rarely do I ever sew a quilt or pillow cover made from fabrics from the same line…like my Bowtie Flower Quilt. I’m not sure what the different was about this quilt, but to satisfy my curiosity and desire to sew a scrappy version of this pattern, I went ahead and sewed a pillow cover. Yes, part of me wishes I had sewn the entire quilt like this. I think I restricted myself a bit wanting to ensure the quilt was a good representation of such a beautifully designed pattern by Elizabeth. I’m not sure why I didn’t sew with my typical tendencies on the baby quilt…which I still think turned out overly precious.

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