Sunday, October 16, 2011

early sunday

I woke early this morning, early for a Sunday, and decided to stop fidgeting and just get up. It is so dark again at this time of day, and earlier and earlier in the evening. I feel the winter solstice creeping up. As much as I absolutely love the looong days around midsummer's eve, there is a certain appeal to this time of darkening, too. Not much I can do to change it, so gotta love it!

I recently picked up a new book, Style Stitches by Amy Butler. I do love my bags, and am always on the lookout for the next best bag. I picked a little zip bag for my first project from this collection of bags, thinking that I could usea new little purse pack to keep my necessary things (chapstick, nail clipper, mints, etc.) in one easy spot to be transferrable to other bags. This turned out fairly well, I think the only stumbling block was the fact that it was pretty small to easily work with the details of pleating, lining, curves, bands, topstitching, pocket inside, tab loop and zipper. But it's done and serves the purpose, so I'm happy.

I dug up a little wrist strap, probably a camera attachment, to finish it off. I think there will be future bags coming out of this book--stay tuned!

Now I want to share a recent find with you, and declare my intentions--

I acquired this unfinished vintage Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt top and have been thinking about what to do with it. It is a traditional quilt using the hexagon shape, but very different than my other recent ventures with hexagons. The overall look is appealing, and it is plenty large--larger than the pool table/cutting table top. About 175 blocks according to my estimate. It does have some issues of poor construction, like blocks that won't be flat, a few holes and stains, etc. Some good examples of "make it work" construction by someone who wasn't afraid to put her own brand on a quilt by straying from the rigid rules of fabric placement!

But overall, very charming, and certainly an accomplishment even in its unfinished state. I don't know the history behind it, but I will try to learn a little more about the era of these fabrics so I can at least put some kind of date to it.

I determined that it really would not turn out very nicely to even try to make it into a quilt in its present condition. It is hand stitched without the benefit of accurate cutting and/or seams, resulting in some very odd angles and shapes in some places. But these fabrics have not only sentimental value but real value that could be preserved as a little bit of women's history. I have been having an internal debate about what to do with it. You see, I have this friend, Maggie, who encountered something similar awhile back. She decided to dismantle the blocks, clean the fabrics, re-cut and re-make them. I was sure she was nuts to take that on. But she did complete it, and it turned out beautifully. And she doesn't seem to have lost too much of her sanity! So I have started taking apart a few of the blocks to see what happens. They are a bugger to take apart, trying not to tear anything, slow going. I have decided for the time being to salvage only the colored fabrics and set aside the white muslin rows. I could more easily just replace the muslin hexagons without taking apart the old ones. I took apart one block a couple days ago, using 3/4" hexagon papers to reconstruct it. That worked, so now I am soaking 4 blocks worth of little hexagons in Vintage Textile Soak and will continue with the process. This could be a long process, ending when I am either completely done with all the blocks or completely sick of it! But I am thinking that it will be worth the effort in the end, and I could end up really liking this!

We are looking forward to a fun day today, with a ~3 hour drive to Jackson for the fall hayride hosted by Larry and Denise. Lots of other family members show up for a tour of the backroads and waysides, ending with a weinie roast and s'mores! Can't wait, I have my hotdog substitutes ready for the road, since I don't think that tofu hotdogs are on Larry's list!

No comments: