I think I have been busy I have much progress to show for the time, but not many words. I have been working on my BOMs, Reunion and Ribbon runs through it. I’m happy to report that I am caught up. For reunion I finished the 16 “different” blocks, they are different colors and same pattern. They have 117 pieces each, finish at 12 inches and take about 3 hours to cut, sew and put together. I was looking forward to starting the secondary blocks, all same colors and pattern, because I thought they would be easier. Alas, no. They have the same number of pieces, the difference being that they have a modified nine patch in place of the double flying geese. The centers are a bit bigger too, I was surprised when I counted that they had the same numbers.
The Pilgrim is making progress, I have been steadily working on it most evenings. Thankfully more stitching than ripping. I don’t have a side project, although that may change soon. I get a little bored stitching one color, so I have been doing smaller cross stitch pieces along with this large one. I have this Cardinal one kitted up, but I am not sure about the linen I have here for it. It is actually a woven hemp, that has been hand dyed. Its a 32 count, and the resulting stitchery would be too large for the frame I have for it. I ordered a few pieces of 36 count linen last week, I may change it out when that shipment gets here.
I started on the quilt restoration project. I carefully took the whole quilt apart, it was like an archeological project, it took me a few days. This quilt was made in the 70’s, with all the skills of that time. Some machine stitching lots of hand stitching, scissor cut fabrics, and templates were involved. For example the quilt was finished envelope style, after it was hand quilted in the center, the edges were turned in and invisibly hand stitched together. This is a large quilt, almost a queen size, I guess its akin to hand stitching binding, bleh. The borders were machine stitched on and the stitched in the ditch by machine. It seems to me that maybe the sewist did a sort of quilt as you go method. I must mention the batting, it was polyester, a decent grade of it too, but, for some reason, the quilter used two different bats, one was slightly thinner than the other, so it was folded in half and doubled. This made half the quilt heavier on one side, I was happy to get that out and separated. The backing fabric seems to be a poly blend muslin type. It is pieced, but not too much. There seem to be some seams that are industrial machine sewn. I am wondering if the fabric may have been curtain lining at one time. I washed it in my front loader, but it still looked dingy. I am soaking it in dish washer detergent and water now, it seems to be getting cleaner. The problem with quilts that have been used, is that they pick up skin oils, grime and dust and “stuff” that becomes one with the fibers. Rhonda Dort has an excellent tutorial about cleaning vintage linens at her blog Rhonda Dort . I would like to use this backing to replace some of the backing on the Dresden blocks. The dark green blades bled when this quilt was laundered and left ugly yellow stains. I am going to remove the green blades and repair and replace the blades that need it. Then I’ll resew the blades to the new/old backing. I am hoping that I can also wash these blocks once they are repaired, so they can be made into a new quilt. I am thinking of adding some sashing, and different borders. The lady to whom this belongs to, didn’t like the original brown, red and yellow borders, I am thinking a softer pallet may be better. Plus, the originals are faded on one half from the sun.
I have another commission for a twin size quilt too. Last year I made this quilt (above), Cats in the Stars, to use up my Julie Paschkis fabric stash, this client would like a similar one in a twin size for her son. As is the case with OOP fabric, finding it is tough. She has been scouring the internet here and in Canada, for pieces of the Catkin line and complimentary lines. She sends them directly to me, so I get these happy little packages of pretty fabric. I am awaiting the delivery of some solids and black fabric to start the scrappy stars, plus I do have the matching center cat panel left over. Hoping to get this one done quickly, and off to its new bed.
I have purchased a bunch of fabric too. I bought all the batiks to make the Swordfish quilt from Judy Neyermeyer. There is a clearance/retirement sale still running at Batiks Plus, when I got mine it was 30% off, now it is 40%. I also bought a fabric kit to make the Enchanting Stars Pattern from Jacqueline de Jonge. It was on sale too, and I have the pattern already, so why not? So I have two monster sized quilts to make this summer, as well as finishing the two BOMs.
On top of that, we are replacing all the windows in our bedroom and redoing the landscaping in our back yard. Yup, going to be busy around here.