Have you been to the online Men's Quilt show??

This post needs two titles. The one above and "Everyone should be so lucky."

Okay, so the quilt show. I'm in my first quilt show. It's an online quilt show called Men Quilt, Too and I really hope that if you haven't visited and voted, you take the opportunity to do so. Voting ends this Saturday. I have to confess. I haven't voted yet. I'm having a really hard time deciding whether to vote for myself or to vote for the quilt I think is the best...and are they the same quilt? Who knows. There's lots of great quilts out there.

Okay, so that was a shameless plug. I figure the more people vote, the better chance I have to win...something. And, all four prizes are great.

Everyone should be so lucky...

And, I've tried to blog about my quilting adventure every day since the show started on 10/01. Today, I'm going to blog about a quilt that was a gift from our friend LD. When she gave this quilt to Rob to bring home to me, she shared the story of its history. He remembered names like Reagan and King, both big names in Texas history. There was a plane crash and a Mother/Daughter death and lost history.

I unfolded it the first time and almost cried at the beauty of it.

Unfortunately, it is in need of repair, if for no other reason than to preserve the beautiful embroidery.

Unfortunately, we don't know anything about the maker.

We know that there was a lady who did interior decorating named Reagan. Her daughter married into the King Ranch family and was Mrs Reagan's best customer in the decorating business.

Mrs Reagan bought the quilt to use in her daughter's home. But, even then, it needed repair. So, she hired LD's aunt to do the repairs.

Just as the repairs were finished, Mrs Reagan and Mrs King were going to fly out on a shopping trip.

The plane crashed on takeoff and both were killed.

No one ever came to claim the quilt and LD's Aunt was never paid. So, right of ownership passed to the Aunt and then to LD and then to me. And, it's time to repair again.

The shot above on the right is the quilt back. It was made up of several different brown silks. One is completely gone. I was surprised to see the embroidery stitches show through on the back. Maybe that's the way all these were made. I don't know.

In my study on restoring silk and velvet crazy quilts, the first thing I read was don't try to repair a historically significant quilt. So, for over a year, the quilt has sat, folded in a cotton sheet, waiting until I could get the full history and make sure it wasn't significant before I take my inexperienced needle to it. I think the batting might be silk. At the very least, it is the softest combed wool I have ever felt.

The plan is to reback it and retire (cover over with black silk) a couple of pieces of shattered silk that have no embroidery. There is one shattered piece with beautiful embroidery that I want to preserve and I'm thinking of inserting a very delicate piece of fusible web that melts at a low temp and fusing the shattered silk to a backing fabric so the embroidery can be preserved and enjoyed. I've found the silk, but I haven't bought it. I guess that even though it's not historically significant, it's still intimidating to think about actually doing something...other than letting it disintegrate in my sewing room closet.

Everybody have a great Thursday.



lw said...

That quilt is really gorgeous and I totally understand your reluctance to do anything to it.I wonder if one of the quilting museums could help you? They use professional restorers (and can give referrals--then it's up to you to convince them to pay for information only so you can do it yourself.) They would also know if the quilt was historically significant, which I suspect it is.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I am going to go vote now...and btw; I have one of mine in the theme of the week contest; if you have a mind to vote there...lol. Just a thought..thanks...the crazy quilt is lovely.

sewmeow said...

Sure enjoyed seeing and reading your post about that quilt. Quite an undertaking to restore it.

I've loved the Men Quilt Show and am getting ready to vote.

Bratling said...

I'm in amazement of all the embroidery. Lane, before you take a needle to it, Look up embroidery stitches and do some practice ones. I saw feather stitching and satin stitching and outline stitching for sure as well as some french knots....

Vesuviusmama said...

Great story for an amazing quilt. I'm sure I would be immobilized by doubt about working on it, too!