January 31, 2017

Take 2: Optical Illusion With Plaid (complete and with photos this time!)

(I inadvertently posted this a few days ago, long before I was done writing it.  Here it is in it's final form!)

"It just looked like a happy quilt that needed a home!"

That's what the owner of this quilt told me when she sent it to me for repairs.  I think that's a lovely reason to buy a quilt, don't you?

What makes this quilt especially fun for me are the blocks that were pieced with a large red and white plaid.  Piecing that plaid next to a plain white made the seam lines of the patchwork pretty much disappear, creating a syncopated, modernistic pattern in the midst of this otherwise very quaint, old-fashioned quilt!


Honestly, it took me a bit to sort of uncross my eyes and figure out what I was looking at!  I really want to experiment with this in a quilt one day, maybe soon.

This block combines that same effect with three pieces of a different plaid, resulting in yet another eye-crossing look.
The sashing fabric is also playing games and illusions.  This style of fabric is called a double pink.  It looks at first like a darker pink printed on a light pink ground.  But on closer inspection, the floral sprigs are the same ink, printed solid against a ground of fine pink dots on white.

This cute, unassuming little quilt is hiding all sorts of tricks!

The repairs needed were pretty straightforward compared to the trickiness of the fabrics.  I patched over the places where a couple of fabrics had totally worn away.

For this one, I chose a vintage print that was the same sort of overall grey print of the old fabric (at least that's what the minimal amount of remaining and very faded fabric looked like!) plus a bit of red and black.  When choosing repair fabrics, of course it's virtually impossible to find an exact replacement.  This one works nicely since there are still strong reds and blacks elsewhere on the quilt.

This is how I experiment with what color thread to use.

Here's the first patch, pinned on and ready to sew. 

Here are the completed patches.

And here they are again after being re-quilted.  Sometimes, when the original batting and quilting are still intact, re-quilting isn't structurally necessary.  But it generally is a good idea anyway because it helps the new fabric blend in with the surface texture of the quilt.

In this block, I patched the black and the five brown pieces. (And yes, that's how the original fabrics were placed.  I believe that repairs should replicate what the maker intended.  It's still her quilt, not mine!)

And finally, here's my little scrap basket, all full.   I always love that great feeling of accomplishment!  You can also see the swatches of patch fabric hanging on my pincushion.  I make a record of the repairs I've made that includes swatches.  That way, it's clear to future owners what's original and what's not.

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