Old quilt, new tricks

I’ve finished the first one foot  by width of quilt section of the restoration.  Can you see my work from here?


How about from here?


It starts to show up as you move in.


This is my work.  I put in the tree and the lace hides a tear in the velvet.  I put in the clamshells along the left side.  This is where I started to learn that too much handling would do additional damage.  I’d read that everywhere I looked.  But, this is where I learned it.


And, this is my work.  I put in the red silk and did all the embroidery you see in this picture, except the little green thing in the lower left. 


I kept studying how to do the repairs and found one writer who said, instead of replacing the whole piece of shattered silk, to leave the beautiful embroidery and just replace the centers of a shattered piece of silk.  You can see that there’s a new piece of silk in the center of this section.  But, the old embroidery is still there, though kind of hidden by the threads of the shattered silk.  It’s clearer from directly above, but then the silk reflects the light and you can’t see the patch.


How about this one?  I put in the green silk on the left and added the narrow strip of lace to cover a tear in the red printed silk further down.  The previous restorer used a piece of blue velvet where the black patch is and it had shattered.  I removed it and beneath it was a black brocade that was shattered.  I covered the brocade with black silk and left the embroidery exposed along the bottom edge.  The red velvet has lost most of it’s fuzzy, but it’s still viable and therefore doesn’t get replaced.  But, it needed some embroidery to help with the transition, so I added that.  Very carefully. 


The blue stripe silk and the red silk with the ribbon embroidery below are both mine.  I did the embroidery before I sewed the patch on, so it didn’t add any stress to the quilt.  I’m just learning ribbon embroidery and this was leftover ribbon from a little kit that I did a couple weeks ago that was supposed to be one of those little embroidered picture “friend’s forever” things from Hobby Lobby.  But, it’s on a beautiful piece of green moire and is going to find a place as a repair patch later.


Here are some of the things I”m trying to save.  This is why it’s so important to remember that “less is more!”  The less stress I put on any section or piece, the longer that piece will last. 

There are lots of painted silks.


The blue bonnets along the side of this piece are mine.


And, there is gorgeous embroidery that I won’t even touch.  This piece is on a shattered velvet.  Not much I can do but save all the velvet I can.  The restorer I found most recently suggested just weaving new threads in about every eighth of an inch, left to right, not actually replacing the missing threads, but adding the stability of new thread to the threads that are left.  I’m still thinkin’ on that.


Today is bee and I’m back to machine applique.  I’ve ransacked every kitted up bit of sewing stuff around here for supplies to work on the crazy quilt and now I need to do something to make sure I’ve got all I’ll need at the meeting.

Be well.  Have a great weekend.  Sew, sew, sew.



Pam said...

I love those crazy quilts -- great job on the repair/restoration. . . . This is really quite precious!

Sheila said...

I love that you are restoring this lovely old quilt. Not sure if it is the photography , but your laces are showing up as very white. Have you considered tea dying them before appliquéing, it may help them blend in a little more. I have used a mix of coffee and tea to give an aged look.

ga447 said...

Amazing, you are making the quilt come back to life.

Laura said...

I am helping a framer in my area conserve a Civil War flag. Some well meaning person put MASKING TAPE on it to hold the shredded edge of the flag together. I helped remove the masking tape, trying to conserve as much fabric (a lot of it just threads) as possible. We are basting the flag to a background fabric and then covering it with delicate netting to help hold the shreds and pieces in place. I wonder if using some tulle (spelling?) over the top of the worst places would help you conserve some of the old silks.

Anonymous said...

Lane, Consider "covering" the shattered but embroidered or painted for that matter piece with super fine silk organza. It would allow things to be seen but protect the shattered area.

Older western made silks were treated with a metallic finish of some sort that gave the silk its "swish". It also meant the silk would not last like the oriental silks.