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Friday, August 26, 2005

Mother's Crazy Quilt Block Day 6

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I took a stitching day. I worked solely on the CQ Block for my mom.

Now, several months ago, my mom gave me a few pieces of jewelry and asked that I someday work them into a block for her. One was an angel pin that she's had for quite a few years, one was a silver necklace that belonged to my grandmother and last was a pair of my grandmother's earrings.

Mom asked me that I not compromise the pieces meaning, please don't cut or remove the chain from the necklace, please don't take the screw backs off of the earrings and please don't remove the pin from the angel.

Ok, the angel pin was no problem. I simply pinned it to the crocheted medallion on the black crushed velvet. I tacked the heart locket down with several stitches so it didn't move around too much. Nice and easy.

The earrings weren't much of a problem either. I had to leave the screw backs on because without them, there was no way to attach them to the piece. The easiest thing to do was to hide the backs amidst some fluffly ribbonwork. I did the gathered ribbon flowers, sewed them on, added some leaves and tucked the earrings in where the two fluffy flowers meet. I added some french knots with another ribbon color and sewed on a few grey pearl beads.

My biggest dilemma, was in what to do with the necklace. Had I planned this block out better, I maybe could have had the chain coming from the angels hand and scalloped it across the block. But I didn't think about it too much before I did the foundation piecing so I had to find an alternative.

I tried everything, thinking maybe I could tuck the chain behind a seam and no matter what, the piece was lost.

While working on another area, I remembered the vintage beaded dress piece that I bought at an an antique shop back in February. I purchased it with the intention of using it on a large wallhanging. I remembered that with this piece, there was an extra little paisley, lose in the back and quite deteriorated.

Vintage Beaded Dress Piece

I pulled it out, layed it on the block and it was perfect! The perfect size and color! I put the necklace around it, leaving the pendant part dangle at the bottom of the paisley and my problem was solved!

But despite my excitement in solving my dilemma, I now had a new challenge! Because this little paisley was literally falling apart, I had to figure out how to stabalize it. I took a square of muslin in an embroidery hoop and carefully stitched the piece to the fabric. I then, 3 by 3, ran my needle through the beads and attached them to the muslin.

At a quilt show in April, I found a bag of circa 1910 silver beads that matched the ones on the dress exactly. They were expensive but I bought them to fill in on the dress piece when I got around to making my wallhanging. Anyway, I pulled them out and used them to complete the silver border around the paisley.

Vintage Beaded Dress Piece 2

The next step was to trim the muslin around the beading:

Vintage Beaded Dress Piece 3

I folded in the excess fabric and carefully, between the beading, sewed the edge down:

Vintage Beaded Dress Piece 4

This made for a strong foundation and saved the beautiful beading! At this point, I sewed it down onto the quilt but only around the edges leaving the top portion open so that I had a place to tuck the chain into. I then added the silver necklace around the outside of the paisley, tacking it in place where the links were. I pushed the excess chain behind the paisley piece and completed the stitching to hold it in place.

And this is how it looks on the quilt:

Aqua Block6

I'm planning on doing a little ribbon work near the top of the paisley and coming down the right side of it. I hope it works because I feel it needs a little something. But I'm so thrilled that I figured out how to do this without compromising my grandmother's necklace! And I'm so pleased that I was able to save my little beaded paisley from my vintage dress piece!

I'll be stitching on this more later today so check back soon for another update.

1 comment:

Denise said...

That is really beautiful. Very creative use of your Mom's old jewelry.
I love projects that use a mulitude of different needlework techniques. Or should I say, I like to use different needlework techniques in my projects. *giggles* Either way.

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