Saturday, December 30, 2006

Family Heirloom

gaga quilt a
Originally uploaded by Pinyon Creek Stitchin'.
This is a pic of a lap throw that was made for my son by his great grand mother. She did this for all the great grand kids one Christmas manyyyyyy moons ago. It was made with quite a variety of men's ties and some ummm....interesting polyester from blouses and dresses. (I presume anyway.) As can be seen there is a considerable amount of damage to it, inclusive of the feather stitch embroidery done on all of the seams.

I got a wild hair just after Thanksgiving and decided that it was time to get some projects (mmmmhmmmm) completed and dove head first into re-storing this quilt. There was more damage to it than met the eye. Like mildew damage to the foundation!!! Awckkkk!!! Sooo... I took some light weight flannel that I had and put it on the back. Keep in mind that i'm not a "planner" by nature and was flying by the seat of my pants on this one! I used the flannel as added support. Hind sight....should have traced the pattern of the original, taken apart the blocks and re-pieced it. Then...I could have made it straight, but then it wouldn't be an accurate reflection of the maker and the love she poured into this project. I then took out every piece of fabric that was damaged and re-placed it with pieces of ties that I have on hand. The embroidery overall was disintegrating, so I decided to take it out completely and re-do it pearl cotton in a similar color with hopes that it will hold up better under use. I wasn't worried about the monetary value of this piece, more about it's sentimental value to my son. I also wanted it to hold up for another 26 years without need of repair! LOL!!! It was with a HUGE feeling of relief and pride in the completion of this that after 80 hours, I can say I am done!!! I re-backed it, tied the edges, wrapped it up and fooled my son by saying it was from his great-grandma! :_) Oh! And the difference on this quilt....besides the fabric....and admittedly a bit of the stitching....I put a quilt label firmly on the back, documenting the date it was originally made, then re-stored and what was done! No one will ever wonder about this puppy again!! Now to get a pic of the "new" version so you can see the changes. I did quite a bit of reflecting while I worked on this and wonder how on earth a piece can be accurately restored with fabric from the period? The very thing that causes it to deteriorate would cause other "like" fabric to disintegrate too, wouldn't it? Hmmmm....something to explore! Enjoy!


hideko said...

You have done a great job for both your son and his great grandmother. I am so impressed. I wish you a happy new year!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful project! I'm amazed it only took 80 hours! I hope to see the restored pic soon. It's such a shame that it dissolved like that. I never thought about it, but, now that you mention it, I think you are right about restoring with the same fabrics! But maybe different washing techniques or something?

LouAnne said...

Leslie: This wasn't an 80 hr chore; it was an act of love for you son AND his great-grandma! Such a treasure. Labeling is always wise. Too bad very few of our fore-stitchers thought that was important. Because all of my mil's work was unlabeled and lost, all I have left is her fabric scraps. I hope one day soon to piece each of her granddaughters something with them. Perhaps just a pillow but there definitely will be labels on whatever I make.