Fragment Restoration

I found this scrap at the free store. A sumptuous little piece of embroidery, which looks like it was cut from something larger and very ineptly hemmed.

I cleaned it by dusting gently with a soft clothes brush. Then I used an old toothbrush to clean around the glass beads, which are not round, but square on the bottom with a half dome on top. The heavy cotton threads wraps around and keep them secure - there is no hole to go through. Very unusual!

After removing the orange backing cloth I used a strip of an old black linen shirt to bind the edge. Then, with perle cotton, I did a buttonhole stitch followed by a row of unattached buttonhole to create an edging. With a purple embroidery floss I stitched the piece through all three layers of block printed border, cotton batting, and the original backing cloth, which I had washed and pressed.

Then, I hand quilted the circles in the border print. I wanted to create a stable backing, but didn't want to introduce a directional line.

To finish, I tried binding the edges with a burgundy cotton that once lined a Japanese kimono. I stuffed the binding with an upholstery cording to give added dimension. I didn't like the effect so made prairie points for the first time, and was happy with the lively edge they create.



  1. I am impressed, that is so amazing!

    (Both, the old embroidery and what you made of it.)

  2. i love this process. restoring. always exciting, bit like changing history ins some way.

  3. That must have been very satisfying to breathe some new life into something so beautiful.

  4. Wow, that is really beautiful!

  5. This is just gorgeous! I love the idea of upcycling and mending/improving and adding new life to something... It is a wonderful gift to not only see the beauty in something old and discarded......but also to summon that beauty back to the surface.


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