Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why Bother?

The sudden burst of summer-like weather has meant that it's too hot for me to pin baste my vintage stars quilt for quilting. I use a table tennis table in our shed and as the shed isn't insulated it gets very hot in there. We are expecting cooler weather later in the week so as a change of pace I pulled out these vintage star blocks to work on instead. These are from a cutter quilt I bought some years ago from the US. It was tied and is from the 1930s or 1940s. Several of the blocks had started to come apart and when I took the blocks apart I could see why.
 They were stitched with double thread which was still in good condition but the pieces hadn't been cut very accurately and the stitching had gaps in some blocks which ranged from 1/4" to 3/8ths of an inch apart. This meant that some of the seams were opening up and the knots in the thread were 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch in size which meant that they didn't sit accurately. Most of the fabric is in good condition but faded but some of the white pieces are stained and quite frail.
I've started to take the stars apart and there are 42 in total. It was a single bed size but the stars were separated by pink floral sashing which wasn't very attractive and was quite faded. I've saved the sashing which is in good condition and I plan to make more stars using this fabric as it will tie in nicely with the others. The stars are mainly in pink and the pattern is Sawtooth Star.
 I've washed the deconstructed pieces which will help to close the stitching holes left by removing the threads and then I re-drafted a pattern so that I can use the pieces of fabric in a slightly smaller size and avoid some of the areas of wear. I'm also replacing some of the fragile white fabric with fabric from my stash of off white. I may discard some of the stars but by re-making them I can make sure they will be in good condition. I made one new star from the pieces so far and I'm very happy with the result. I was going to hand piece it but I think it's easier to use the sewing machine and it places less stress on the fabric. I will be remaking these stars and finishing them off as a new/old vintage quilt.
So why bother with all this extra work? Well I love to finish off UFOs, both mine and other people's and by remaking the blocks and re-quilting them it will give it a much longer life and bring enjoyment as I just LOVE antique and vintage quilts. I love to bring these old quilts back to life and as it is 75 to 85 years old, I love to think of the life of the original quilter and hope that she is pleased with what I am doing to prolong the life of her well-loved quilt. I'll post progress as I get more blocks done but at the moment I'm mainly working on deconstructing the stars, washing the pieces and then re-cutting them. The modern aids we have like rotary cutters makes this so much easier than it would have been for the original quilter.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac


Miriam said...

it will look wonderful when you are finished. I love the care you put into everything you do x have a beautiful day x

phxquilt said...

Who wouldn't be pleased that you are reviving such a treasure? Have a peaceful day.