Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Using What You've Got
I have had a couple of tattered old quilts from Saskatchewan in my "to do" pile for about 10 years. Why, in the midst of many more pressing needs, did I choose to fix this one up now?
It was probably made in the early 60's, by the aunt of an ex-partner. It is obviously sewn from real scraps, not planned and made from new materials. The fabrics range from rayon to cotton pique to what looks like old sheets. It was hastily made, the blocks pieced "crazy" style, and was never actually quilted, but was used as a duvet cover. Some of the fabrics had frayed quite badly, and others were very fragile, but I always liked the spontaneous quality of the design.
I guess since I am working towards this big Swap-o-rama-rama at Maker Faire, and am feeling kind of overwhelmed with details, restoring this quilt is a tangible reminder that working with what you've got is as good as any place to begin. One piece at a time and all that.
I added scraps of my own to the frayed edges, re-sewed the borders, removed the crumbling back and added a new one, along with my favourite organic cotton batting. I did an absolutely hack job of the quilting, but didn't really fuss about it because it matched the freeform piecing of the original. I then added a binding and washed it, to let the inevitable shrinking work its magic.
I was very pleased with the result. There's still a few more years of keeping us cozy left in the old quilt!
Not quite Gee's Bend - but I would never have attempted this without the inspiration of those gorgeous quilts, made of neccessity and love.