Friday, October 25, 2013

The Actual Rescue of a Quilt Block

We will begin the repairs on this block.

Earlier I talked about what order I would re-applique the blocks. It's not very exciting, but I like to begin with the three stems.  I'll take you through this, step-by-step.  It is important that you remove only one piece at a time; replace it; and then remove the next piece.

Why? because when you remove a piece there are little holes and short threads remaining, to show you exactly where you should stitch the new piece.  If you take off too many pieces at a time you'll lose the markings.  This is old fabric, I don't want to mark with a pencil if I don't have too.

Carefully removing the center stem to be replaced.
I use a seam ripper or a tiny pair of embroidery scissors to do the removing. Make sure you have good light on the project. Remember these threads are old and the fabric underneath is fragile so it's important not to just rip and tear things off. Be gentle.

As I remove threads along the stem, I have to clip some of the stitches on the nearby leaves, but I let them stay in place. Then I replace the center stem with a bias strip. Now you can pull out all the little old snipped threads that were marking its position. Next I remove the right stem and replace, then the left stem and replace. By this time the four leaves are almost hanging by a thread. So one at a time, I remove and replace until all four leaves are finished.
The stems have been replaced with new bias strips, new leaves have been appliqued and the lower triangle has been added.
Now it is time to work on the tulips. The red fabric is shabby, but still firm. So I will leave it in position unless there is a big lump at the outer tip of the flower. If this is the case I'll snip a few threads on the tip, and remove the lump. Now, I'll pin the red tulip petal over the existing red piece and applique it into position. 
Red center petal pinned;  only the upper tip is needle turned and appliqued; remaining edges are raw.
Notice that the lower tip of the red center is folded under. I just pin it in place. You'll notice the fold is aligned with  the lower edge of the green petal. You can also see the black top of a pin marking the edge of the green petal on the left side.

After the one center red petal is pinned and sewn; I lay on the two green side petals. Sometimes the original petals are in such bad condition that they get totally removed. Others that aren't too bad, I'll just applique the new petal over the old.
Green petal appliqued on left side of tulip
Now all that is left is to applique the right green petal.  There are 3 of these tulips in each block.
As of Oct 12, 2013  I have completed 6 blocks and some of the border. I am pleased with my progress.

Still stitching.

Ann Fahl


Sally said...

This may appear twice. Don't know what happened to my first comment. Anyway, thank you for sharing your progress. It's nice to see how it's coming along, and your handwork is awesome!

annieQ said...

It is really a joy for me to work on this quilt.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

WOW That is an amazing rescue

Rachel said...

Enjoyed seeing the "before and after" all in one photo. What a difference! What determination!

Barb H said...

Great post, Ann. Thanks for showing your work so well.