Friday, October 4, 2013

Where do I Begin?

These blocks are lovely and I've always liked the color choices the maker used.  I've made hundreds of quilts, done lots of hand work in my life, but never restored one like this. Where do I begin?
I think it is wise to remove one old piece at a time. The old stitching holes and pieces of old thread will mark the spot where I should sew the new piece on.  Beginning with the 3 center stems. The original maker used bias strips. So I constructed enough green bias all at one time to finish all 20 blocks.  I cut 1.5 inch strips, pressed them in half, then almost in half again to create .5 inch strips with both edges folded under, and easy to applique. I made 560 inches of bias! That should be enough to complete all the stems.

Next is the leaves. As I look at what is left of the blocks I see there isn't much consistency of size.  So I traced over the tiny leaves at the top and the larger leaves at the base to create plastic templates.  Wow, I haven't made templates in years.  I cut out enough just for several blocks so I can get going with my project. I'll cut more as needed.

Now the tulips, each consists of a red center and two green petals.  So I've done the same thing, made plastic templates and cut out enough for only 2 blocks.  I'm anxious to get going.
Tulip pieces in both red and green have been cut with scissors, like the original maker.
I will work in this order, removing all or portions of the damaged piece first:
  • Middle, right left stem
  • Lower green corner triangle
  • Middle red tulip piece, then 2 green side pieces
  • Tiny top leaves on both sides of the stems
  • Large lower leaves on each side of the stems

As I work, I'll pull out the old stitches and look for places on the front and back that may need repair.  I'll make those using some muslin that is well washed and matches the white background pretty well.

The quilt was appliqued with white thread.  This was done for many years, and was traditional to use white. But I love color and own thread in hundreds of colors so I will be appliqueing with matching red and green thread.

Hmmmm, each block times 20.  That's a lot of blocks.

Ann Fahl

No comments: