Wagga-style Repairs; Everything Old Becomes New Again, Eventually

About 20 years ago I made this red/black/white/grey colour schemed quilt for our son Ivan to take off to college.  It has a lot of use and quite a few washings since then, and was presented to me last week in serious need of repairs.  I decided wagga style patchings were the only sane way to deal with the little holes along seam ridges, and some surprising fabric failures producing patches just hanging by few threads.  In one patch the batting had gone … but it has all now been repaired, taking several brightly coloured fabrics and about 10 hours of cutting and machine patching over the holes.  And of course all that can be done again in the future in true wagga style!

The pattern used was given to me on a class handout nearly 25 years ago, in the days when of course no one acknowledged sources of patterns and designs they liked and thought they’d like to share… even if something was clearly in the open domain.  So I did once look it up in Ginny Beyer’s  Book of Blocks and Borders, and found it was a traditional pattern or variation of one, which included mosaic in the title (the book isn’t to handto check this as I write)

And by coincidence, just as I was starting on these repairs, I was searching for thread in a nearby quiltshop here in Easton, and noticed among the books this one featuring the exact same pattern on the cover:

These traditional blocks have enduring appeal – here even enhanced by the wording of the title of this booklet, which uses as the base material the 2 1/2″ strips you can now get pre-cut from beautiful batik fabrics, all you have to do for this pattern is sew them up in light/dark pairs and cut triangles, arrange them according to the instructions and sew together. It’s a beautiful pattern done with 1  1/2″too, much finer.  I used larger strips because of the large prints and stripes – it worked well.  I’ve often seen it,  and in certain classes I hand out the same sheet I was given years ago – its the perfect scrap quilt pattern.   In the hand out instructions one had to cut one’s own strips of course – but that was the time when the new rotary cutter and long rulers had recently revolutionised quiltmaking, apparently – I take that on faith because the cutter already reigned supreme when I began making quilts.

Nice to see an old pattern is enjoying popularity again… or still.

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