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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Antique Crazy Quilt

Dear readers, do I have a treat for you today!

Antique Crazy Quilt 1

I have been commissioned to repair and further embellish this antique crazy quilt! And this is the first of 2! Wait until you see the 2nd one! But that's down the road a ways because this one will take a couple of months to complete.

It's actually in pretty decent shape. The first step is to clean it. The proper way (and only option) is to put some cheesecloth over the hose of my vacumm cleaner and vacumm it well on both sides using a "set & lift" motion. Never drag the hose over a quilt like this.

Antique Crazy Quilt 5

If you look closely, there are a few patches that are almost completely rotted away. So the 2nd step will be to replace those patches by hand-appliquéing new pieces over the top and then restitching the seam treatments. Thank goodness I have such a huge variety of threads on hand!

This is the center square:

Antique Crazy Quilt 2

Looking closely at this quilt, it seems to me that the stitcher tried several embellishing techniques on this but I get the feeling that after awhile, she became bored with the project and finally just assembled it.

So far, I haven't found a date on it but I need to examine it further. Using the fabrics as a guide, I may be able to put it into a decade. At the moment,I'm thinking 1910's or 20's but I really need to look at it better.

There is one beaded motif on here, 2 or 3 examples of decorative painting and some embroidered motifs.

Antique Crazy Quilt 3

Antique Crazy Quilt 4

The majority of the fabrics are velvets but there are some others and most of the seam stitching is done with a double feather stitch.

The backing is in good shape but I will be adding a new back once it's complete.

The current owner wants more stitching and more beading on it. I have several ideas, including some velvet pansies. I'll use Judith Montano's pattern from her Elegant Stitches book for that rather than my pattern. Judith's pansy pattern was recreated from pansies on an antique pillow.

And one thing I won't be using is a hoop. I'll be stitching this in hand. Because of the age, I don't want to strain the fabric any more than I have to. I plan to roll the quilt up in a sheet of muslin, to the area that I'll be working on. The excess will have to lay next to me on the sofa.

So that's the news for today! How exciting huh? I will post my progress as I work on it. I need to lay it out on the floor and look at it for awhile. Once I get a better idea of where to go with it, I want to meet with the quilt's owner again and share my ideas with her before I start on it. She's given my creative license to "get crazy" with it but I feel it's best to talk to her about my ideas first.

So, stay tuned for and Antique Crazy Quilt Journey! In the meantime, Mozart is calling to me.....


Outi said...

This will be really an exciting project! Looking forward to see your progress on this. :)

Kim said...

WOW!!! What a great opportunity! I, too, am looking forward to seeing pictures of your progress.

Lynne said...

Me three! It's going to be fascinating, seeing what you'll add to this.

And BTW, isn't it nice to have such a beautiful new hardwood floor to showcase the entire quilt on?

Charlene said...

Oh, wow. As you stitch, I'm sure the original stitcher will lead you in the right path... Enjoy ... and let us enjoy, too! :-)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting about this and taking pictures so we could see it, too. I'll be looking forward to updates on your exciting project and the one to follow.

loulee1 said...

Add me to that list of excited bystanders. I too am sure the original stitcher will be with you, watching with keen interest.

crazyQstitcher said...

Oh you lucky girl, getting this beauty to work on. I can't wait to see your many additions as all of your work is beautiful and inspirational.

Thanks for sharing.


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