July 21, 2011

Repair of a Log Cabin Quilt

I've been working on a log cabin quilt.  It's maybe Mennonite, purchased in Ontario a while ago.  It's not very, very old.  Probably made in the mid to later part of the 1900s.  (When I started quilting, that's how I referred to "The 1800s".  It stills sounds so strange to me to say "The 1900s"......)  The current owner uses the quilt on her bed.  It's been repaired once before.

Here's the neat plaid fabric that's on the back.

Several of the darker fabrics have worn out, and many made of the lighter, brown fabaric are gone or going soon.

I gave the owner two estimates, one for just the really bad spots, and one that also includes the brown fabrics that are still mostly intact but have some splits starting.  She chose to go for the full job, because she intends to keep using the quilt.

In the spaces of the missing logs, it's possible to see the funky little orange spread that was used to fill the quilt.  That and the plaid on the back lead me to date the quilt c. 1960.  Officially, "circa" means it could have been made 10 years either side of the given date.  The plaid seems 60s to me, the orange spread could be 70s.  So, what "circa" means to me is "somewhere in around there".

Here are the vintage fabrics I had on hand.  The brown is a cotton, but the original fabric is probably a rayon.  The thicker green wool is too thick, and the thinner one has only a few spots that are not already weak.  I only had black cottons, which in a heavier weave can replace a dress-weight black wool in a pinch.  (Read about storing wool fabrics here.)

I decided to go shopping to see if I could find something better, and did.  I bought a dark, forest green and a black wool crepe.  It's often hard to find wools light weight enough to work well in these quilts.  These are still a touch thick, but not bad.  I didn't find anything better for the brown.  I decided to try sewing them on and see how I liked them.  I liked them.

Here's the finished repair job.

And here are before and after pix of some of the repaired logs.

(The brown fabric I added comes off quite a bit yellower than the original in these photos.  Yes, it is yellower, but not quite so much yellower.  Some of this is because of the quality of the light when I photographed. You can seen that the blues are also a very different shade in the before and after pix.  I could have spent a while in photoshop adjusting, but thought I just write simple disclaimer instead!)

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