Skinning a giant king size quilt and it’s restoration.

I started this quilt many years ago before I had a Longarm, when I decided to quilt it on my domestic sewing machine I though that if I used two layers of batting, one cotton and an extra fine poly it would give it more volume and the flowers would pop, they did not.
As Toots is pointing out, there were some issues with my first attempt at quilting it.
When I got my Longarm machine I thought that if I added some meandering to it it would hold the quilt together better and the flowers would pop, I was new to Longarm quilting back then and my stitches were too small and there was to much meandering giving the quilt too much volume and weight!
Pretty poor quilting, stitching too small and uneven.
I finished the quilt, put on the binding and put it away, it was simply too heavy to use and even to heavy to hang, it was a disaster, I had put to much time and effort into making the quilt top and the fabric used was giving to me by my good friend Ethel at a time when we lived in Saudi Arabia and fabric was hard to get, she brought me a big stack of fat quarters from Huston Texas.
I was so disappointed in myself for ruining what should have been a lovely quilt.
Fast forward eight years later, lockdown, time on my hands, I thought it’s time to rescue Ethels quilt.
I took it out to the lawn with a scalpel, fingers crossed and after watching a tutorial on YouTube set to work.
I soon changed from using the scalpel to using a new blade rotary cutter, I used five new blades on this project, cutting thread sure dulls the blade quickly.
What a joy when I reached the end of it!
It took me several days.
Sore knees, hands and wrists, I needed a break to recover.
Turns out it was a bamboo batting and a fine weight poly batting.
A big pile of Tula Pink fabric, what to do with it, I washed and pressed all the pieces, ever the frugal quilter!
I gave the quilt a blow in the wind in the hopes of it removing some of the threads left, nope, it just looked happy to be free of all the weight!
Next I had to remove all the thread, seems every stitch is still there waiting to be pulled off, after many different try’s I settled on my clean gardening cloves, I held the quilt taught with one hand and rubbed as much as I could off with my other.
Finished, Toots expected the quilt to make sure I got it all, there was still some thread attached where I had tied it off and some tiny stitching.
Now to steam the stitching holes and remove the rest of the thread.
As you can see every stitch left it’s mark.
It was a little shredded on two of the corners after it’s blow in the wind.
I replaced what was needed but left as much as possible of the original.
This tiny bundle was all I could find in my stash of the original fabric.
First steaming, still some stitching trails.
There was nothing to do but to keep steaming and pressing until it was finished, there is no short cuts .
Now I am ready to quilt again, I will order some super soft wool batting and find some cotton lawn for the back.
I will post photos of the finished quilt later when it’s done.
This has been an incredibly interesting project, not one I would recommend to anyone, I hope never to have to do it again, it was painful on my bones and muscles but super exciting at the same time, the joy of being able to start again with a quilt that means so much to me, brings back wonderful memories of my time spent quilting with Ethel, her friendship and kindness are always in my heart and I think of her often even although we now live 1000s of miles apart.

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