Is that a Blood Stain on my Quilt?

Patchwork quilt top with a stain that needs mending. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Summer Blues

Wunderlist - my Summer Blues quilt To Do list, should now include mending... © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Summer Blues To Do List

Check out my Summer Blues To Do List! All the sashing is now hand quilted and I happily crossed it off the list earlier this week. A little late, but no worries. As for week 2, well I consider it to finish at midnight tonight and I reckon I’m close on target for that too – I’ve only got a couple of nine patches to go. This could all be going rather too well…

Horror of Horrors!

As I was quilting the sashing I discovered there should have been something else added to the list: it needed mending.

Patchwork quilt top with a stain that needs mending. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Hand quilted sashing done.

Can you spot it?  It’s right there in the middle of the sashing, in the middle of the quilt: one big nasty dried blood stain!

Just in case you missed it, here’s the offending blood stain up close and personal:

Patchwork quilt top with a stain that needs mending. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Bit of an eyesore!

I have no idea where the blood stain came from, but this quilt top’s been hanging around for seven years so your guess is as good as mine!  I don’t actually know for certain that it’s blood, but no amount of washing will budge it.  I’d like to blame my cat Daisy who took to sitting on it as it was waiting to be quilted, but it’s more likely it was me carelessly pricking a finger and not noticing, don’t you think? So utterly annoying! If it was on the edge of the quilt I’d probably forget about it. I love the quilt, but I’ll be honest it’s not the best craftsmanship you’ll ever see (I’m sooo glad I’ve improved!). But it’s not on the edge, it’s right there in the darn centre! Humph! Cue yet another repair on this poor quilt (read about another repair here!).

A Blood Stain Disappearing Act

After washing I don’t know how many times, it was pretty obvious the stain wasn’t going to move, which is what makes me think it’s most likely dried blood.  I decided I had nothing to lose and would, as a last resort, give some bleach a try.  Still no effect.

In my mind I now had three choices:

  1. Unpick this section of sashing and slip stitch a new piece in it’s place. This seemed like a great idea, and would probably be the least obvious repair I could make.
  2. Do a bit of reverse appliqué by cutting through the stain, folding it under and then slip stitching a piece of fabric underneath it.  I thought this might make the fabric weaker and would probably be an obvious repair.
  3. Put a patch over the top of it. I thought I could make a patch the same size as the sashing and just slip stitch it in place. Simple.

Yes, all of these seemed like good ideas until I discovered I had no more of the fabric left and nothing large enough that even resembled the same colour.  Buy more, if it were even possible?  No. Emphatically not! Just make do.

Quilting a patch over a blood stain on a quilt. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Covering up the blood stain

I managed to find a tiny piece of fabric on the corner of a floral printed design that just about matched. It meant a small, more obvious patch. It would have to do. Then I discovered that the fabric was see-through enough that I could still see the blood stain through it, grrrr!  I had to double it, thereby making the patch thicker and yes, more noticeable.  Still, just make do, I told myself.

And so I did.

Repair on a patchwork quilt to cover a dried blood stain. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Now you see it, now you (almost) don’t!

And it’s not too bad after all! Put it this way, it’s a whole lot less visible than the dried blood stain was and it’s easy enough to remove the patch and do something else with it another time, if the mood ever takes me. And I find enough close-match fabric!

And the Moral of the Story?

Don’t prick your finger and get blood all over your quilt?  No.  That’s always going to happen.  The moral is this: always keep a bit extra fabric for repairs and mending! Maybe even put it to one side with a great big label on it.  

I bet you’re all more sensible than me though. But do tell, what’s the biggest repair you’ve had to make and what do you do differently now?

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend.  I’m off to link up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching (I’ve still got an hour left before it becomes Monday!), but it might be tomorrow morning before I can catch up with you all 🙂

Have a great week.

Check out my favourite link parties here

Favourite Link Parties graphic © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Can You Help?

Before I head off into the sunset, I wonder if you could help me make a decision?  I like the look of this blog very much (barring some minor tweaks I still need to make), but do you find the links in the text easy enough to read and find?  Would it be helpful if I changed them to a brighter colour? Please let me know by leaving a vote in the poll (no

Thanks for you help!

Follow on Bloglovin


17 replies
  1. Carole
    Carole says:

    Did you try using some hydrogen peroxide on the stain? It usually works on blood with several applications with a q-tip or something similar and won’t damage the fabric. Your work is lovely, and I really admire those that can hand quilt. Visiting from Slow Stitching Sunday.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Oooh no Carole, I haven’t. Is that the hair dye/bleach?! I always imagined it would damage the fabric, but it’s good to know it won’t, thank you! Thanks for coming over too, lovely to meet you!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I think it’s probably sod’s law that you don’t have any just when you need it, and when you’ve got it you don’t need it! Better to have it than not…must. remember. own. advice! 🙂

  2. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow
    Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow says:

    I found two places that needed repairs on my last quilt…a small tear in one area and seams coming apart in another so I just put small appliques there. One was a small flower, another a small butterfly. In the end it looked like I was being whimsical and creative, haha! It depends on the quilt and colors as to what will work….you did great! 🙂

  3. Lynne
    Lynne says:

    I have an obsession with butterflies (they represent my stillborn granddaughter) so I would cut a random number of various sizes and applique them on with one to hide the stain. I love your quilt!! 😀
    At the moment I’m looking in my fabric for some inspiration so I can make a few covers for my sofa to protect it from pet hair and winter wet dog!! That way I can free up my fleece blankets to keep me warm!! 😀 I am using 4 to protect my sofa right now!! 😀

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Pets and their wet paws are a bit of a pain in winter aren’t they? My two cats are always traipsing the farmyard mud and slurry across the place – and as soon as I protect one area for them with something nice and cosy they head off and find somewhere else!

      • Lynne
        Lynne says:

        My kitties are indoor kitties so no mud there but my dog likes to roll in the muddiest part of the field, Fox poo or duck poo is even better!! 😉

  4. rj
    rj says:

    Something that has worked for me is to apply a paste of MSG like the steak tenderizer Accent. It doesn’t always work but often does. Using cool water and the paste I can dab it out or if stubborn and the fabric can take it I try using a clean toothbrush with the MSG paste.
    Blotting paper ie a wad of paper towel underneath that you keep replenishing is helpful too. (Clean old white t-shirts from the rag pile make good blotters as well.)

    Another thought – try checking with your local museum and speaking with the textile conservator. They often have great stain removing tricks. Good luck.

      • R Johnston
        R Johnston says:

        Hi again. Just realized that being in the UK you may not have access to Accent. MSG = monosodium glutamate. There is likely an equivalent product in the UK but unfortunately I am not familar with the brands. It’s a good tool to have in your stain removal arsenal.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

I'd just like to say...