Wednesday, December 29, 2010
"Whaddaya mean, you're trying to mend this quilt? It's perfect as it is."
Angus, of course, forces preemption of all needful activities to accommodate his own comfort. This one is a quilt made by friend Bob Bickford's mother Isabel as a present for his 52nd birthday. In the eleven or so years since, the quilt has survived a backwoods existence, and was in need of some repair.
One particular fabric had rotted away. I cut replacement squares and hand stitched them over the tattered bits. It didn't take too long.
The worst part of it was the griminess of the fabric. I didn't wash it first because that would have eroded the torn bits even more.
Here you can see the difference between the soiled fabric and where it was covered by a second layer of the blue calico. Isabel evidently knew that quilts receive the most wear on the top and bottom edges so she whipstitched an additional layer over the edge. Luckily it was easy to remove and the cloth underneath was undamaged.
It's a simple nine-patch, with the fabrics looking much older than the date it was made. I suspect the fabrics themselves may date from the sixties. Since there are identical patterns in different colourways, I am guessing it was made from a kit. I vaguely recall such kits being offered in the back of craft magazines from the sixties and seventies - maybe someone out there has more information?
A run through the washer (front loader, on the bulky cycle) made the most rewarding difference. The delightful patterns and colour combinations now have a fresh outlook, and I will speak to Bob sternly about the proper care of handmade quilts. Hope his mom, now passed away, approves.