To pick, or not to pick

There are lots of benefits to getting to choose some of your Christmas presents, namely getting to choose the very thing you'd like most.

This is one of those gifts. These are hand pieced dresden plates. They are made with tiny stitches and each is basted around the inner and outer edge. There are 20 total. Only one is torn. Two have mildew stains. The rest are perfect...tho dusty.

About half of them are beautiful combinations of fabrics with alternating light and dark matching fabrics...all the same light and all the same dark fabrics.

The other half look like they were made by somebody else, tho the technical workmanship is equal. Some are these weird combinations of fabrics, where wedges are barely the same color, much less matching fabric. The weird thing is that I think all the fabric pieces are there to make the matchy-matchy plates, but they got put together wrong. For example, there's a pink and purple block in the upper right corner. Except two of the purple wedges have been replaced with blue wedges and two of the pink replaced by off-white. And, in another plate, a blue and off-white plate, there are those two purple wedges and the two pink wedges. In fact, several plates are matchy matchy, except for two dark wedges and two light wedges. And, those missing dark and light wedges are in another plate. You can see an example on the right, just in front of the purple/pink plate. That one has two beige wedges that seem to go somewhere else. I don't get it.

Likely the reason these didn't get turned into a quilt.

Anyway, that poses the choice whether to take them apart and fix them, which is a shame given the beautiful workmanship that assembled them, or leaving them alone, which is a shame considering their potential to be fabulous.

So, I will likely leave all the matchy matchy ones and take as few wedges out of the ones that are wrong as possible and make the corrections. That way, I get to preserve the workmanship where it is practical and I can re-do to make the rest beautiful.

I have a wonderful piece of vintage muslin that I want to mount them to. There's at least enough muslin for 16, if not all 20. And, that torn piece will have to be replaced, which might throw the whole thing off.

And, did I mention they are dusty? I might have to do the thing I hate worst of all and hand wash them and iron them before I can work on them. I hate washing things with raw edges. Sounds like a New Year's project to me. After all, whatever you do on NY day, you do all year, so I plan to spend it quilting.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Another quiet day at the office.



Norma said...

I bet some elderly person made these blocks. Somewhere along the way, they started to lose their sense of color/pattern/design. I have blocks of my mother's that she made in later years. It is definately, "what in the world was she thinking?" as the fabric choice is just out there!
How great that you are giving them the love and attention that they deserve.

Patricia said...

I don't know---I am sorta "quirky" and like the "let's break rules here". Maybe this person had spent a lot of time trying to match everything and got bored. "Why not just go for it" she (or he) might have thought. I would think that it wasn't really haphazard, since the workmanship is still there. Is there enough for two quilts? If not, maybe leave just one of the "liberated" blocks in the quilt as a tribute to her/he "liberation" (Gwen Marston-style). Either way, it will be beautiful!

regan said...

I'm with Patricia....might be kindof fun to have it quirky!

lw said...

You could try putting the blocks underneath a screen and vacuuming them instead of washing them. I *hate* washing raw edges, too-- it could throw off the 1/4" we need for precision.

That said, I think your approach is sound-- leave the matching blocks, repair the weird ones. I think that when this is done, it'll be amazing.

Thread OvMetal said...

I like the idea of quirky combinations, too.

It will be a nice tribute to spruce them up and give them new life!

Michelle said...

Lane! Use your serger on those raw edges so you can show me how!

Elizabeth said...

I think you're onto something with your plan to rearrange a bit. That is going to be one beautiful quilt when you're finished.

As for picking your own gifts, well, there are pros and cons. The biggest pro is getting exactly what you want. The con is depriving someone of the joy of figuring out exactly what you want and getting it for you ;). My husband tried to surprise me this year with a good scissor sharpener. It is a very thoughtful gift considering my love of scissors. But he couldn't find one for under $200, so I'm glad common sense won out and he asked me what I'd like because I'm going to get some new clothes out of the deal. An added bonus is that in his search, he found the best place in the state for scissor sharpening (I've had a run of bad luck at my previous favorite places lately) and it happens to be a stone's throw away.

Have a very quilty New Year.

xo -E