Archive for July, 2010

What can be slavaged:

July 18, 2010

The simplest repair is the simple replacement of lost stitches between two intact pieces of fabric.

Those were a minority of the problems I encountered. I spent yesterday evening on the mid-grade interventions. Remember the pink star from my past post? Here?

The places that had pulled out of their stitching but still had intact fabric were handled thusly:

Pardon the harshly extra-jumbo photo. I re-stitched ever so slightly inside the original thread. I was able to do this because the creases from its first ironing were, in many cases, inside of the stitching rather than on it. After duplicating the stitching (and tightly corralling any threads that had come free) I flipped the seam allowances over so that the much more stable contrast fabric covered all off the stray bits. Then I tacked it down with the tiniest stitches I could manage, since I was now stitching on the surface of the quilt.

One step up was stabilizing with fabric from behind.

I approached the first steps in the same way as everything else. I picked all the stray threads to the wrong side of the fabric and re-sewed the seam. Here, unlike before, I was barely able to make a stable join. I cut a patch from plain white scrap fabric to stabilize from behind.

I applied it to the wrong side of the fabric but only worked from the right side. Pin from the right side and stitch parallel to the seam, trying to stay halfway between the seam and the edge of the seam allowance on the other side.

It’s anal retentive at its best but look at the difference:

I’m starting the process of snipping out the parts that can’t be stabilized from behind. Stay tuned.


A New Project

July 17, 2010

A few years ago, when I had a stultifying office job, I bought a quilt top for $10 on ebay.

It’s charming and colorful. I expected this to be a shortcut to learning to¬† hand quilt. I wanted to play with something I had no emotional attachment stitched into. Then rainbow unicorns would fly out of my butthole to take me to the quilt shop.

This is an astounding work. These six pointed stars are completely hand pieced. The fabrics look like children’s clothing, 70s blouses, summer dresses, and men’s shirts. There are some issues, which shall be detailed, but the adoration clincher came when I realized this:

Here we see a star that needs a repair and perfectly matching fabric

(wait for it)

From my grandmother’s stash.

It makes me wonder how, exactly, this quilt top came to be listed for $10 on ebay. Was a crafter’s stash being sorted through after his or her death? did this not make the cut during its maker’s cleaning spree? Or, as I’m beginning to think, it was stained, laundered, came out tattered, and a repair was abandoned. Exhibit A:

The fabrics that were less quilt-suitable frayed very badly. Some of the painstakingly hand stitched Y-seams have melted. In one place that I’ve found (so far) there was an attempt at a repair:

You can see the crease from the seam, the re-shaped diamond, and the messy attempt to stabilize one of the most disintegrated fabrics.

Despite the issues, there are such beautiful details. Fussy cut embroidered flowers? Yep.

Bowling shirt? Oh, hell yeah

I’m starting the process of repairing this top so that I can finish the quilt. I’ve identified issue spots with safety pins and I’ll be documenting the work necessary to restore this charmer. Check back.

We’ve been out

July 14, 2010

I just moved. I spent two and a half years in a fun little place in an active neighborhood with a clown car approach to roommates. After a few months of living in two places I finally moved in with my darling. He keeps fish and keeps gardens and I love the new digs. We’ve got cuteness spilling out of our room:

It’s still cluttered from the moving process but it’s ours. The vegetable garden is his. I’m as much in love with the garden as I am with the gardener.

It’s all zucchini and bush beans until fall.

Baby quilt

July 12, 2010

Turns out, machines are more efficient. I spent a few months piecing the top of this quilt by hand. And less that 24 hours to quilt and bind on my recently fixed machine.

I’m still learning how to do all this properly but I’m loving every minute of it. I’m hoping to mail this off to my best knitting friend from college who just had a little girl.

Until last week this was my fabric stash:

All my quilting fabric used to fit tidily into a tub the size of a shoebox. That changed. I don’t think I’m ever going back.