Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Even better than the real thing

Sorry for my silence this past week.  My mother is visiting us for 2 weeks and I haven't found much time to sit at my computer.  In the interest of buying some time, I'm posting pics of a quilt I refurbished and delivered back in December.

This quilt was originally made in 1999 for a baby cousin's baptism gift.  It was only my 3rd attempt...and it showed.  My seams weren't properly aligned and I hadn't top-stitched enough to keep the fabric protected from wear and tear.

In December of 2006, the quilt was given back to me with the request to "please fix it."  It had been the recipient of much love and was starting to show it's age.  I couldn't have been happier.  My quilts are not not NOT meant to be heirlooms....tucked away in a closet for a special occasion.  They are meant to be hugged and loved and used and abused.  These days, I take certain measures to ensure each creation can withstand the grabby fingers of a toddler and the swish-swish of a washing machine.  So nothing thrilled me more than to see the frayed edges....the faded blue squares....the threadbare fabric.

It was fascinating to see how far I've come and how much I've learned since those first few projects.  And I realized how important it is to take those few extra steps to protect the fabric.

It took some time to figure out the strategy.  Eventually, I realized my only option was to completely take it apart and start fresh.  I removed the backing and batting and cut up the top into usable pieces.  This is a pic of one original section.

This is one tiny section that I wanted to keep in the new quilt, so I repaired it with some red top-stitching.  I was quite happy with the rustic look of it.

This is another original section.

The entire quilt is now large enough for a twin size bed.  I attached the new top to some fresh batting and a new back...then I hand-quilted like a mad woman.  That fabric should be well protected if it ever gets put into a washing machine.

This is what the final product looks like.  It has 9 sections from the original quilt...the rest is new fabric.  (I consider it a small miracle that I still had the leftovers from the first quilt in my fabric stash.)

PS.....In case you're wondering, it doesn't ordinarily take me THREE YEARS to complete a quilt.  It just so happens that when I was asked to start the project, I was pregnant with my 4th munchkin and herding around my other 3 kids who happened to be ages 6 1/2, 4 1/2, and 1.  Suffice to say that for the first 18 months that the quilt was in my possession, it was safely tucked in a bin in my sewing room.  I brought it out when some of my brain cells came back to life.

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