Quilt Restoration: Block Style 2

The entire quilt was a bit of doozy…30 of 30 blocks needing help.

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For insight on how I fixed blocks with ruined backgrounds, see HERE.

Today I am sharing one way to fix a damaged applique.  I am not pretending this is a great way, but this block needed two different techniques. So it seemed a good example.

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A previous repair had stitched netting over the damaged fabric.  I suspect much of the damage on this block, and a number of other places on the quilt, was due to a combination of different shrinkage after washing and very light quilting.

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So I removed the netting and cleaned up the frayed fabric so I could see what was going on.

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The small frayed area at the bottom could be sort of darned using matching threads.  the larger torn area needed matching fabric.

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I stitched the bottom area first (no good picture, sorry) and then a line on the matching fabric right where the stripe color changed.  Fortunately, not in the way of the eye.

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You can see the darning repair in this picture.  Once I attached the matching fabric I pressed it open and trimmed it just outside the zigzag edge.  Then I turned in under and stitched it down like turned edge applique.

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And finished it off with a matching zig-zag stitch as close to the original as I could.  Whew!  From a distance and on a galloping horse, it doesn’t look too bad.

Quilt Restoration: Block Style 1

The quilt has 30 blocks, and not a single one didn’t need something.  Some were fairly simple, just restitching the ric-rack or mending a small hole, but a few were much more involved.DSC01995

There is no batting, exactly, in the quilt.  Rather, a recycled, lightweight fleece served as both batting and backing.  There was also essentially no quilting.  Just some stitch-in-the-ditch at the sashing and between the blocks.  The blocks themselves are roughly 13″ x 14″. You can guess some of the problems that causes.

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This block, and two similar to it, had ruined backgrounds.  The birds were in pretty good shape, but…

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First, to expose the entire problem, the netting applied as mending needed to be removed.

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The fabric that hadn’t already torn was so fragile that saving it with some kind of backing wasn’t an option. I found a near-matching piece of fabric as a new background and cut it around an inch larger than the existing block.  Pins mark the position of the bird as it was placed on the block.

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I cut  the applique bird out of the existing background, leaving some extra around the edges where possible.

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I ironed the extra towards the back.

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And re-appliqued it onto the new near-matching background.

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Now, to fit the block into the hole, which is no longer a true rectangle, or any particular shape.  Lots of pins.  And blind stitching the edges into the hole.

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In the end I believe the new block doesn’t stand out too much as “new.”  Hopefully the owner will see the memory of what once was and not be too taken aback by the changes.

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One more look at “before” and “after” side by side.

Believable?

Quilt Restoration

This might be out of my league, but I was asked to do it by a long-time neighbor and friend of my parents.

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Her mother made her this quilt when she was a young child.  It is much loved and is full of memories…

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Each block and each bird have their own personality.

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I am tentatively starting to work on it, making repairs one block and a time and hoping for a grand revelation on a finish.  It is mostly not-quilted and there is no batting…

Suggestions?  Ideas?  Encouragements?

Sparkle Jane To The (Quilt) Rescue

The original quilter tried, she really did.  The pattern is interesting, the fabric is high quality, the colors are beautiful.  But, she struggled with the piecing and assembly and eventually gave up.

Sparkle Jane saw potential. She fixed what she could of the piecing, while honoring the effort of the original maker. And assembled the top.

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There was plenty of fabric, so she added a triple border–a narrow inner border, a lovely piano key center, and a wider outer border.

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Extra fabric was used to make more “piano key” style pieces to stretch the back.

I am certain the original maker would be pleased with the results.  YAY for the quilt rescuer!

Sundae Pincushion

I found this interesting object in a thrift store for 69-cents.  Too darling to leave behind.

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So it came home with me.  To become a pincushion.

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First try went…badly.  What was I thinking?!  Wrong shape.  Wrong size.

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Second try, however, turned into this!

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YAY!

I am pretty sure I could make a pincushion every week for a year and not get tired of it.  Which is funny, because I really don’t use pincushions much.  I have a metal magnetic tray.

Sparkle Jane Finish: The Pendleton Quilt

On a Saturday Sparkle Jane said, “Mom, I want to make him a quilt.”

“Well,” I said, “There are these Pendleton shirts…”

The quilt was planned, sorted, cut, piecing started…

Tuesday night, Sparkle Jane was assembling.  There was no fabric suitable for a back here and the quilt shops were all closed.  While she kept stitching, I left for Joanns, two towns away.  The store closes at 9pm.  I got there about 8:15pm.  She was going to have to trust me.

Find the fabric. Get the fabric.  Head home.

The backing was pronounced, not just acceptable, but perfect!  WHEW!

She pieced and pinned.  The next day, Wednesday, I had quilting time scheduled.

And it was a quilt!

Considering that the quilt is 84″ x 90″, that is near record time for us…it is a Christmas present that will be opened for New Years.

Vintage Project Layout: Applique Butterflies

The past several days brought the Vintage Applique Butterfly quilt started by my Great-grandmother, Mina Opal, to a completed top.

As I picked apart the previous setting, I noticed that there were 6 blocks where the butterflies were straight on the block and 48 blocks where they were angled.  Considering the care and attention to detail in the work generally, I was certain that was not an accident.  But, why?

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Research revealed that that there is a layout for 54 blocks that has a six block center–a medallion!

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After that the process went relatively quickly. I created a six block medallion and surrounded it with three part sashing, placing a nine-patch in the corners.  Most quilts in this style used either a single wide piece of sashing or additional background material, but I liked this look. Around and around we go!

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Three layers plus a wide outer border of muslin as close as I could get to that in the background of the blocks.  It is lighter, but the texture is right and I think after quilting it won’t be too obvious.

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I am preparing to scallop that outer border when it gets back from the quilter and marked a rough draft version to guide her work.  Yes, this quilt is being sent out.  It deserves the best, so I am giving it that chance.

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Won’t my mother be surprised when she sees it again!

 

Another Vintage Project

This year is the year–of Vintage Projects.

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Recently, my mother surrendered two quilts started by HER grandmother, Mina Opal, (my Great-grandmother) in the 1930-40s.  Today we will take a look at the first one.

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Mina Opal created 53 applique butterfly blocks.  My mother added one.  She then added sashing and started to build a top (early-to-mid 1980s).  But she was unhappy with the results and put the whole project away for about 35 years.

ASIDE:  Now that I think about it, my mother quit on the quilt about the time Mina Opal became ill and died (1987). Hmm…I wonder if that had something to do with it?

Anyway, when it came to me I asked if there were restrictions on what I could do, because “It won’t look the same when I bring it back.”

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With my mother’s (blind-faith) blessing, I have gone to work.  First, pick the entire top apart. It took days.

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Clean up and iron each block. This was a tedious but useful process.  It helped me to see the work more closely and to better appreciate the skill and care Mina Opal and my mother, Verna, put into the quilt.  It also gave me clues as to the possible original intent.

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It also gave me a reason to AGAIN use my new lint roller.  WHO KNEW one would be so useful?!  I don’t know how I did without one this long.

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I chose the largest possible size (9″) for the blocks and squared up. This step was the hardest emotionally so far.  Cutting 80 year old fabric…arrgh!  What if I make a mistake?  But, I went slowly and only did a few blocks at a time.  And double-checked.  A lot.

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Time for design decisions….Coming soon!

 

Lone Star Rescue COMPLETE

While my time spent working on the longarm machine I rent is normally smooth and pleasant due to the assistance and maintenance of the owner, it was not so with this quilt.  The thread kept breaking for reasons unknown.  Just one of those days.

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But, patience and persistence prevailed and it was finished in the end.

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I am really pleased with the freemotion work  in the background,

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less so with the work in the star itself.  I just don’t have good control yet on my points.

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I hope the original maker could be pleased with the results.  They probably aren’t what she had in mind, but we can all relate to the feeling of knowing that our efforts weren’t in vain.

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It goes into the giveaway pile waiting for the “just right” home to come along.