How to Repair Holes and Tears in Quilt Tops

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Hi there, I’m hoping you can help me. I have a newly finished quilt that got a small hole in the top from my cat’s claws. What’s the best way to repair this so that my quilt still looks okay?

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NQC Answer

Not to worry, this should be a fairly easy fix. If the hole is on the quilt top in a place where you can hand stitch it, that would be the best way to repair it and make it less visible.

I have also fixed small holes by cutting a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing, inserting it into the quilt under the rip with the fusible side facing the wrong side of the quilt top. You can then align the edges of the rip and “fuse” it back together.

Good luck!


Related link: Types of Interfacing Fabric and Interfacing Sewing (links to National Sewing Circle website)

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20 Responses to “How to Repair Holes and Tears in Quilt Tops”
  1. Camille

    I like the suggestions Ashley offered and have another that I have implemented. I used a scrap piece of the fabric that matched the pattern where the repair was needed and needle turned a small applique circle over the hole/tear.

  2. Tracy

    Hi I have never done quilting so where do I start. I an an experienced sewing for over 35 years so I thought I’d try something new. So quilting here I come.

    • Vickie

      I have sewn for many yrs. I’m sure if you love to create beautiful things you will really have lots of fun. Get a couple goid rulers. A cutting mat and a rotary cutter and scissors will get you started. U tube has some talented ladies to show you how. Like Jenny at Missouri Star Quilts. Have fun. Txt me if you need .

  3. Gayle

    My mother made me a butterfly quilt the year before she pssed away. She was 89 years old. I will cherish it for the rest of my life. The problem is it has no border and I don’t know how to quilt and finish it. Thanks new member

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Gayle. We have many videos that can help you learn how to add borders, quilt and finish the quilt if you decide to do so. Here is a link to an entire category of videos on borders:
      Quilting borders is a fun and easy way to enhance your pieces. Learn how to create a variety of borders and discover helpful techniques in these videos. And here is a category on quilting:
      Learn from experts to efficiently and effectively quilt your masterpiece. Follow along for tutorials on how to quilting lines and designs, like a pro. Hopefully these help provide you some direction.

  4. Michele

    For larger holes or frayed/stained pieces, my quilting mentor appliques a new piece of material directly over the entire bad piece – I’m amazed at how good the repairs look!

  5. Cheryl Grider

    Does anyone loom knit? 😃 I need to know how many pegs it takes for a 7″ wide single knit with using Red Heart yarn (4ply worsted yarn). What brand of loom are you using? I have Knifty Knitter, Boye, and the loom from Michael’s.

  6. Mary Ann

    Unusual problem husband put hot iron on my white on white baby quit lying and plasticmrlted on it I am devastated because I am loosing my vision and can’t make another what can I do I can send a picture. Help

    • Customer Service

      Hi Mary Ann. If you are unable to remove the melted plastic from the fabric, or even if you have and it has left a permanent mark- you may need to try and patch over the area. I would cut away as much of the “hard” parts of the fabric as possible, meaning anything that feels rough due to being melted. Then, you could place a new piece of white fabric over the area and quilt over it, tying the new quilting into whatever quilting is already on the quilt. This will probably be your easiest option, as trying to take the quilt apart to patch it can be tedious.

      Hope this helps!

  7. Leanne

    I saw a suggestion somewhere in my quilting searches that suggested putting a scrap of each fabric used in the quilt either in a small baggy with care directions or under the quilt label if it is large enough. The reason for under the quilt label was that when the quilt is laundered, the scraps will fade at the same rate as the quilt. Of course, there might be an issue with that in that if you are quilting with strong colors, they may bleed or you would need to make them color fast prior to finishing and giving the quilt. Most of us keep scraps of fabric and have enough to share them with the quilt recipient. Personally, I plan to print out a care instruction sheet and just put the fabric scraps in a baggy so the recipient can use them if needed for repairs.

    • Leanne

      Additionally, I think I will get some Shout Color Catchers to include with the baggy, care instructions and fabric scraps.

  8. Diane

    How can I fix a hole that my son’s dog has chewed all the way through on a quilt? The hole is bigger than my hand includes top, batting and backing? I can’t find same pattern material but found some close to the same print.

    • Customer Service

      Hi Diane. I believe the only way to fix a hole of this size is to create a patch. Since you will need to be replacing all layers of the quilt I would recommend stitching the backing in place, then use some temporary spray adhesive to add a small amount of batting to the area. You can then hand stitch the edges of the new batting with the old batting, however the spray adhesive will help hold it in place while you do so. You can then add your patch to the quilt top. I would recommend pressing under the edges of the fabric being added and then hand stitching it in place using a hand applique stitch. Since you can not find the exact fabric it is up to you as to whether you want to try and blend/hide the patch as best you can, or use a contrasting fabric/shape to make the patch stand out as a decorative element.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Ada

    I made a baby blanket 14yrs ago and he is sleeping with it. It has ripped from top to bottom. He doesn’t want it replaced with a new one. what can I do??

  10. Darla

    My granddaughter is 4 and has this baby quilt shes had since birth. Well her dog chewed a hole of the front thats about 6 or 8 squares in size. Its an odd color for a baby quilt its red, black and white with different patterns. She wants something with butterflies to fix the hole.

  11. Betty

    I have a newly finished quilt that got a small hole/prick in the top from my scissors. It is getting larger. Can it be repaired with Liquid Stitch Permanent Adhesive Original? I’m not sure I can tack it without it showing but want to know which is the best.

    • Customer Service

      Hello Betty,

      Yes, the small hole can be repaired with this. Another way to repair it would be to slip a small piece of fusible interfacing inside the quilt (if possible) with the adhesive side against the wrong side of the fabric where the hole is. You can then realign the fabric and press using an iron to adhere it in place. To make sure it is extra secure and won’t get bigger you could then use the Liquid Stitch.

      Hope this helps,

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