Monday, December 28, 2015

Rescued first steps

Rescuing the old quilt blocks Jane had picked up at the garage sale wasn't an easy process. Once the horrid yellow sashing was removed, I had 29 usable blocks, but they were of varying sizes, and some were very nearly falling apart. Some of the fabrics were stained -- had the quilters used the finished blocks as coasters for their coffee cups. Or maybe someone told a joke, and someone else spewed coffee all over. I carefully washed the stained blocks, and most of them washed out almost 100%.

Look - hand stitched!

OK, this one's got "character." If I'd made it myhself, I would be embarrassed, but since it's someone else's work, I can smile and enjoy. The stains came out.

I decided not to worry about points. If I had made that a criteria, only a few blocks would have been usable. Some of the pinwheels turned left, and some turned right. This made for a layout challenge, and also helped me decide which blocks to omit. I laid it all out on my floor, since my design wall is in my studio, which is closed for the cold winter, and pinned a number to each block so that I could put it back together again. Straight pins. I know. OUCH. But my fingers do not like safety pins, so straight pins it is.

I framed each block with 1" strips a la Ricky Tims' skinny trip trick (ask me if you want to know), and then decided to use a bright red sashing.

Quilt-as-you-go, strip by strip, was my plan, so sewing the whole top together only happens as the batting and batting are added, strip by strip.

These are the vertical strips, still separate. Apparently I used the camera flash for this one.

The next job was to prepare the backing. My quest is to use up what I have as much as possible, so I chose an old piece of chambray that had faded on its fold lines. It has fascinated me for years. I decided to cut it apart and piece it so that it would be interesting to look at.

My assistant, Buddy, approved of the completed strips. If he weren't blind, he'd like it even better.

Next is the quilt-as-you-go process. See my next entry for how that went.

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