How to Rework a Tattered Quilt Using a Serger

Updated on February 23, 2020
LADS Family profile image

Loretta learned to sew on her Grandma's treadle sewing machine. She began sewing her own clothes in 7th grade and still enjoys fabric work.

Tattered Dresden Plate Quilt

Tattered and torn blocks of the Dresden Plate Quilt Grandma made decades ago.
Tattered and torn blocks of the Dresden Plate Quilt Grandma made decades ago.

Decide What Parts of the Quilt Can Be Salvaged

Decades ago my grandma made this Dresden Plate Quilt, all by hand. After so much use it became worn and torn. I could not bring myself to throw it away and decided to cut it down into something I could use. Maybe you also have something you cannot throw away but could repurpose and give it new life.

You may be able to cut away a foot or so of fabric around the edges and leave a lot of the center. I was able to do this. I cut off two rows of quilt blocks.

If not, you can still salvage some of the quilt. You may end up with a full size, twin size, or lap size quilt. That doesn't matter too much because what you are really saving are the memories.

Cut out as large of sections as you can. You might then want to piece these sections together by machine, serger, or by hand. Use scissors, a rotary cutter, or electric shears. If you do create piecing you may need to give attention to the back side.

Cut away the torn and tattered areas.
Cut away the torn and tattered areas.

Secure the New Edges

One option to finish the new perimeter is to bind the quilt in a traditional way. Binding can be made from newly purchased fabric if you want to match a certain color or pattern. Another option is bias tape to encase the edges.

My choice is to use my serger utilizing both needles to make the edges more secure than a single needle might be.

Since this project has been newly cut, the edges are nice and clean. This means my blade does not have to do a lot of work, but I still want to trim any uneven fabric.

Serger at Work

The blade is right beside the silver foot. It will cut off any uneven fabric and encase the edge all at the same time. You can see the two top threads coming from the needles and the two side threads coming from the loopers. The newly cut fabric is falling away toward the front.

Use Seam Sealant

You cannot backstitch on a serger in order to secure your seam. Instead, use a seam sealant at the end of your serged corner. Cut off the extra thread after it dries completely. This will wash and dry in the machine with no problems.

The old, worn quilt section is shown next to the newly serged section.
The old, worn quilt section is shown next to the newly serged section.

My Grandma once made a pieced pillow top for me. I told her how much I liked it. She said, "I had fun making it for you." I still remember that moment. If you cannot get a good size out of your old quilt, you could make a block of it into a pillow as a keepsake.

New Quilt, Old Memories

You now have a different version of a well-loved quilt. I hope you can make something to give yourself some good memories.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 The Sampsons


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)