So when we left off I had cut the new patch from the replacement fabric using the old patch as a template. To make sure that the patch is place correctly I left it on the second patch and matched the edge of the overlapped patch against it. You can see there are still a few threads to pull out of the cranberry fabric but by putting it against the new and old patch I make sure it's in the right place. I'm just going fold the end under and make sure it goes all the way to the bottom edge. I opened the seam just a bit more. Now that I have the placement I can trim off the excess. A tweezer is really handy for pulling out the tiny threads. I need to stitch the fabric underneath to the base muslin and the underlying batting for a bit more stability. Once everything is in place. I remove the old patch and pin everything in place and begin to stitch. The "under" parts of the new patch are stitched. Now I have to fold and place the over parts of the new patch. It will be as close to the orginal seam line as possible but it might stray just a bit to cover a bit of fray or a worn seam underneath.
I have been quiet this week. Processing Katie's passing. While resting (somehow) in sixteen years of her unconditional love. She was such a quiet girl but she filled up a lot of space in our lives & hearts. The good news is that the surgery on Phil's hand went very well yesterday. They removed a pyogenic granuloma on his right hand ring finger. He couldn't eat before the surgery but when he woke up they gave him a cup of coffee and some peanut butter cracker right away and other than a big bandage he's comfortable. Only one pain killer last night. We'll see the results on Friday when they put on a smaller bandage. Breezy is helping his rest by snuggling next to him on the bed. In between things I have been quilting. It's comforting, especially the hand works. I'll process the pictures tomorrow and show you what I have done tomorrow.
"How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven." - Robert A. Heinlein
I've been sewing along on Susan's quilt. Blogging has been put off just a bit by pulling a muscle in my back. I've been able to quilt but it was hard to sit in this chair by the computer. So I have lots of pictures to put up. It will take several entries.
We have washed the fabric for this section of the quilt and now I'm going to remove the damaged patch and put in the replacement piece. First the patch has to be carefully lifted out. Each stitch snipped and the tiny threads removed. Tweezers help. Sometimes there are unexpected stitches underneath. I'm now to the other side of the patch> You can now see more of the color of the damaged patch when it was new. This is a crazy quilt patching method so there are a lot of seams that border this patch. Each one has to be carefully removed. Once it's completely removed, I'll use the piece as a rough template. I put the old patch on the new fabric next to the space it will occupy. I've cut around the old patch leaving a good sized margin. Between a quarter and half inch all the way around. It will be easy to trim is more when it's fitted into its new home but hard to add on to if I cut it too small now. Here is the piece ready to be inserted.
It looks way to large but wait and see. It will surprise you. More on inserting the tomorrow...
Now that we have our fabric picked out it's time to wash it and test it for color fastness. The fabric goes into a bowl with soap and very hot water. If the water looks clear, I rinse it and let it dry on a piece of white Kona PFD (prepared for dye). If any color is going to bleed the Kona will pick it up. If not, it's safe to put in the quilt. Then it gets ironed.
Here is a red I washed for the same quilt and look at how the water turned red.
More on this red a little later on. But surfice it to say this piece of fabric was not used in the quilt.
I've taken out a selection of fabrics that will fit in with the style of this quilt and surrounded the patch I want to replace. I find it easier to see the color in terms of value and hue, light or dark, shade, etc. if I surround it with fabric of like color family. Then I start to narrow it down. This fabric seemed closest but when I folded it to approximate the shape of the piece I was replacing somehow it did look right. This fabric, folded across the top & left went better but it was just too light. I pulled some of the threads away to reveal the fabric that had been turned under and it was darker and pinker than the top thread but not as dark as the fabric on the right side. So back to the fabric drawers Some were just to pink. Some were just to brown. But at the bottom of the draw... was one that was just right.
Now for the testing and washing!
*disclaimer: all monitors have slightly (or sometimes "very") different renditions of color so that you might not be seeing the actual colors or even the same colors that I am seeing on my monitor.
Repairing quilts is part of how I make my living. It's also something that I love to do. I get to see (and touch) the past. All kinds of quilts come to me in all kinds of conditions from all over the country. Each one is a unique treasure. I thought I would give you an insight into how I start. This is a wonderful quilt (cotton) that came to me from VT. It's a 56 block quilt that has been well loved and is now in a need a some repair. The first thing that I do when I get a quilt is photograph it. It tells me where I am going and what needs to be done. I photographed four blocks at a time and printed out a color picture as a reference - both for estimating the time it will take to repair it and to have a before an after photo of what was done. I go over each of the four blocks and mark what needs to be done. "R" for seam repair and "Rp" for replace piece. The block in the lower right doesn't need any repair. The other three blocks need some restitching in the seams and one piece replace in the upper right block. The "R"s won't take very long to do (depending on the length of the seam) and usually require only some invisible stitching. Sometimes an area needs a bit of batting replaced or a bit of weaving to make the area stronger. When a piece needs to be replaced, first I need to find a matching piece of fabric. I have lots of scraps from other repairs, and donated fabrics, but occasionally I might have to buy a small piece from my local quilt shop, Common Threads. The piece than has to be washed - sometimes several times so that it doesn't scream brand new when it goes into the quilt. The old patch needs to be carefully removed and the new patch carefully sewn in. (Here is a link to some pictures of the process for replacing a piece: Peter's quilt.) Before I actually start the repair process I have to estimate of how long it will take and how much it will cost and then the client has to decide if they want to make that investment in the quilt. For family heirlooms, mostly it's yes. But sometimes it's no and I've tried to learn not to take it personally. It's a privilege if I get a chance to do the work... work I love to do. To be continued...