Saturday, April 23, 2016

Quilt Repair Dilemma

In the last post, I showed you the Scrap Quilt that I put together using vintage quilt blocks. The blocks were mostly machine-pieced with a few appliquéd pieces. AFTER the quilt blocks were all sewn together and after it had been machine-quilted, I noticed that one block had a piece of fabric that had not been sewn in correctly, leaving a gap in the seam so that the muslin foundation was showing.

The moon and stars (repair) fabric blends in well with the other colors on the block.

I "interviewed" a number of fabrics before deciding on a much later fabric than those in the rest of the quilt. I found an adorable Cranston Printworks scrap that someone had given me. My goal was to cover up the breach while using a fabric that would "look" decades older than the rest of the fabrics so that it would be apparent that it was a "fix." Truly, I had only a small piece of the quarter moon fabric with stars. I was determined to add it.

Using white silk thread so that I could make invisible stitches on the patch, I set about the task. I actually remember the dear soul who gave me a bag of her scraps and it is her that I honor by including the patch on the surface of the quilt. Now I smile every time I see this quilt which I have personalized in a special way.

Friday, April 22, 2016

New Life to Old Quilt Blocks

Whenever one collects textiles, their previous "life" is often a guessing game. So it is with 25 foundation-pieced quilt blocks that I have now crafted into a finished quilt. Some of the fabrics seem to be from the 1940s; others perhaps from the 1950s. None of the fabrics appear in the two Dating Fabrics books by Eileen Trestain. I am curious to learn more about the possible age of the fabrics used in the 20th century set of blocks. I fully realize that the "date" of the quilt is 2016, the year it was constructed by me. New fabric was used for the borders and cornerstones, as well as the backing.

Scrap quilt assembled with purchased (vintage) quilt blocks. Photo by James Cummings, Quilter's Muse Publications

The blocks were machine-pieced with a few machine-appliquéd patches. All but one fabric are 100% cotton. A black and white fabric that is loosely-woven may be rayon and is the anomaly in this quilt. As if in a hurry to be done with the piecing process, some of the patches are rather large. The quilter's random use of color makes the finished quilt an exciting one and very interesting to view.

I don't usually consciously choose to finish someone else's quilts in progress but I made an exception in this case. I felt that the blocks would be better conserved in that way and the quilt might be appealing enough to "save." In the best case scenario, another quilt enthusiast could take up the task of further documenting the age of the fabric prints used. I had fun creating this quilt!

To see a bunch of the individual quilt blocks and my comments about them, one can visit my Quilter's Muse Publications Facebook page.

Patricia Cummings
Quilter's Muse Publications website: