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How to mend a hole in a quilt with applique

How to mend a hole in a quilt with applique – see how to mend a quilt with this simple sewing tutorial.

 How to mend a hole in a quilt with applique

Quilts are so precious so it feels extra horrifying to spot a hole in them! My mom made this quilt top originally and didn’t like how wonky it was, so I rescued it from her perfectionism and (poorly) quilted it with a sheet as batting and another sheet as backing. It’s such a lovely summer weight and we all love using it, even if it isn’t a color scheme I’d normally choose. Two of the blocks started to pull apart a few months ago and I finally took 15 minutes to mend it with a method I haven’t shared on here before!

mending a quilt

I’ve shared lots of applique mending in the past, but this method has no exposed raw edges. You can totally do raw-edge applique with woven cotton and quilts, like I did for most of this quilt, but I wanted a different look on this mend.

mending a quilt hole

My oval is not perfectly symmetrical but that is user error, not the method’s fault. This mending method could be applied to anything really, if you don’t like fraying or raw edges give it a whirl!

patchwork quilt mend

Here is a patchwork version that I made recently and then hand-sewed on, isn’t it fun! Same technique as below, just a patchwork “top” and blanket stitch all around.

quilt mending

Also used the technique here, with a diamond, on this slowly disintegrating quilt of mine from middle school!

If you like this post, check these out while you’re here!

Pin this tutorial for how to mend a hole in a quilt with applique with this link or image:

diy patch mending tutorial

How to mend a hole in a quilt with applique


  • Woven cotton to make the patch with – this is from the Cats and Dogs Andover line by Sarah Golden, I don’t see it in black anywhere but it is in stock in pink/yellow/white.
  • Some type of marker – a sliver of dry soap works well but here I was fancy and used this chalk liner
  • Scissors
  • Something blunt to push out the edges
  • Sewing supplies – machine or hand


step 1 oval mend

Step 1-1. Cut out two identical shapes that are larger than the hole you’re covering, keeping in mind you’ll also lose some size with 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around.

step 2 oval mend

Step 2-
2. Sew them, right sides together, all the way around.

step 3 oval mend

Step 3-

step 4 oval mend

Step 4- 4. Cut notches all the way around the oval or cheat and use pinking shears.

step 5 oval mend

Step 5- 3. Snip a small opening on the BACKSIDE shape and gently pull it right sides out through the hole.

step 6 oval mend

Step 6-  Use something blunt to push all the edges out nice and smooth, press.

mend a quilt

Step 7- 5. Stitch your patch on, back side down, by hand or machine! If you use a machine, you’ll see the backside of the stitching on the bottom of the quilt; if you sew by hand you can just go through the top layer and keep the backside intact.

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Carolyn Huffman

Saturday 15th of April 2023

Thanks for this post, Stephanie! I’d learned this method years ago when I was making little stuffed kitty pins to sell but needed a reminder of the how-to. I never thought of using it to mend a quilt and I do have a few that need mending due to sharp kitty claws so I’ll have to give it a try. I suppose it could also be done to mend a tear in clothing or give a new look to a clothing item by adding a little appliqué accent. And why not stuff it a little to give the appearance of trapunto?! Love your ideas and look forward to your posts!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

yes, could work with clothes for sure too! adding stuffing to make it 3d is a fun idea, thanks!!

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