Friday, November 22, 2013

A Crisis Helps to Work in the White Spaces

Much of my concentration has been on replacing the red and green fabric applique. Now I'm realizing that I need to work on some of the weak spots on the background as I notice them.  In an earlier post I recommended marking the areas that need repair as I go.  This is a good idea.  But if I just mark them, they will all be waiting for me when I'm done with the red and green restoration.  Just working on white will be boring.

So as I write this, I've completed 8 1/2 applique blocks, it's looking beautiful. I've decided to ocasionally let myself repair a rip in the white space. This mixes up the different tasks to vary the job a little bit.

Outburst of Joy, (c) 1984 by Ann Fahl.  My apologies, this is a scan of an old photo, it's the best I can do.
Many years ago I entered a very colorful wallhanging into a local quilt show.  It was a compass style piece with an interesting border, all hand quilted.  This quilt was titled "Outburst of Joy" won a prize, a ribbon was pinned onto the quilt. At the conclusion of the show the ribbon was lying on the floor and there was a 3 cornered tear in the black background of the quilt!

The show organizers were most apologetic and were horrified that this had happened. When they pointed it out to me, I looked at it, and realized that it was small, a tear of about 1/2 inch in two different directions. Fortunately it was contained within a small triangular section of straight line quilting; and I realized that I could applique a matching piece of fabric over the tear. I did this the minute I got the quilt home.

With little tiny stitches, I appliqued a piece of black just inside of the hand quilting stitches.  It fit inside the quilting lines, perfectly.  Because it was a perfect match, nobody except me knew that it had been patched.  This quilt has been sold, long ago. If the owner is reading this blog, this is the first they will know of this affair! 

This is exactly what I will do to the areas in the white background of the tulip quilt as I find and mark them. I will cut a patch of the well washed muslin, and applique it within the quilting lines.
The split in the fabric was marked with thread.

A patch has been cut and appliqued within the quilting lines.

If the damaged area is larger, I will applique a much larger patch, yet inside of the quilting pattern, and quilt over the entire repaired area to match the original.
The patch has been quilted, so the quilting pattern is continuous.  This helps to camouflage the repair.
These photos do look pretty awful, but you are only looking at a small area of the quilt.  When you open the entire quilt up, and you see all the patterns, these patches almost disappear. It's difficult for me to find them. Quilt conservators might use a sheer netting for these repairs. I am intending on using this quilt daily, so I want to repair the weak spots with something that will withstand a little more wear and tear.  My new patches provide new strength to the area.

Still sewing.

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