My patient survived the surgery. If you missed my initial post, I made my youngest son a quilt. Two weeks later, there were two nasty (unexplained) holes in the top that thankfully didn't extend to the batting or the backing fabric. Here are the before pics:
I was more than a little grumpy.
After reading a bunch of lovely and sweet comments, I decided to machine sew patches over the holes, hoping that the quilt's scrappy nature would allow them to blend it, or at the very least, not look absolutely terrible.
Following one suggestion, I decided to machine-sew the patches down instead of handstitching them. My youngest is rough and tumble, and hand-sewn patches just aren't going to last long.
I don't usually pre-wash my fabric unless I'm using it for garments, but I had a feeling if I used unwashed fabric patches, it was opening up a door for shrinkage and worse problems, so I rooted around through my scrap drawer and managed to find that leaf print from my second quilt when I still pre-washed, and a navy scrap from Marie's backing, which was pre-washed by my long-armer because she was worried about bleeding.
And to be honest, I don't hate them as I was expecting to. In fact, my husband really liked the look of them and suggested I sew them all over the top. (I informed him that I was pretty sure this wasn't an isolated incident, and I would probably be performing future quilt surgery, so more patches are inevitable.)
I'm not as crazy about the back, mostly because I really liked the look of the diagonal lines, and those rectangles kind of wreck that for me, but it could have been worse. Handsewing the patches would have eliminated this problem, but again, the longevity of the machine-sewn patches outweighs the aesthetics. Let's hope there isn't any more quilt surgery in my near future!
Thanks again for all of your help and lovely comments. They definitely helped in the decision process, but also to make my heart feel better.