I counted no less than 25 areas the sewing had come undone and much more weakened seams. I had two options, hand mend each 2" block and patch over those shredded. OR ... undo all of the hand quilting and work with just the top.
As you can see, I started from scratch and undid all of the hand quilting -- that was a several months ago. I washed, dried and pressed the backing to remove the creases from stitching. Next, pressed the top being very careful not to stretch the bias pieced border. WHEW! --- that was a few months ago. Since then, I have pulled from my stash and tried to match the shredded 2" blocks, replacing several -- a few at a time. Next, I have started resewing all of the open and weak seams.
Almost done, now comes the decision to hand quilt or machine quilt. If I choose to hand quilt, she may not see this quilt for another year. The quilt is not an antique, so the choice will be to machine quilt .... something close together to bind the small patches and give Susan many more years of use .... keeping in tack the memories of one of her special vacations.
Is this truly quilt surgery? a little nip-tuck? or a major plastic surgery makeover? Don't look for the answers too soon, I still have a long way to go.