This quilt exemplifies why people are drawn to the silk and velvet quilts of the Victorian era, don't you think? Rich glowing colors and shiny fabrics. It's all about the fabrics!
The counterpoint of the black vs. color makes the strong visual impact that quilt collectors love to see.
The logs are mostly silks. They are about 1/2" wide, though you can see that it's not precision piecing - they do wobble a bit. This makes me happy. It says to me that a quilter doesn't need to lose the fun of fabric and color by stressing over precision (unless precision makes her happy) and can still make a stunning quilt.
The center squares are black and brown velvets. The velvets of this era were made of silk. As far as I'm concerned, silk velvet is the softest fabric ever made. It also takes the dyes beautifully, and has some of the deepest, richest colors you'll see on a quilt.
Polka dots, woven textures, and shots of still-bright orange and rose. There is a wide variety of texture and tone in the black sections. Even with all the aging, the fabrics still make this quilt a beauty. Lovely!
The borders have mostly velvets.
The silks in this quilt are definitely showing their age, a lot of shredding. Some of the velvets have lost quite a bit of their pile. My work on this quilt was to neaten up logs with dangling or raveling silks. I decided to use a herringbone stitch to span the damaged logs and sort of encase what's left of the fabric.
The stitches go down into the seam allowances, so hopefully are not putting undue stress on the neighboring fabrics. I use at least size 9 quilting needles and Mettler 100% cotton size 60 machine embroidery threads. This is not going to keep the silk from further disintegration unfortunately, but it does neaten up the appearance for now.