Friday, May 30, 2014

New churn dashes

Blogger is being funny about adding pictures this morning. It took forever to get these two on.  I'm fitting these in as I take little breaks from the hand-quilting of the churn dash restoration.  I've probably said before that I have no problem with having multiple projects going on at the same time.  I do that at work, right?  I don't just work on one event or project at a time, I have many projects going on, all in different stages.  So what's wrong with having a number of quilt projects going on at the same time?  Keeps things fresh, I think!

I feel awful.  I think I accidentally called someone at 4:45 this morning as I was trying to turn off my alarm.  (I use my phone as my alarm clock).  I'm not sure how that happened, but it started dialing a number.  It wasn't a number I recognized, and wasn't someone in my contacts, obviously.  So very sorry if you were disturbed, which most people would be at that hour.  I will text the number later with an apology.

Speaking of texting, there was a woman sitting next to me at a funeral yesterday who was texting the whole time!  At a funeral!  I had to make myself imagine that she was carrying on some very urgent conversation regarding an impending organ transplant or someone's burning house to keep me from giving her "the look."  Of course, now that I've woken someone up at 4:45 a.m., I have no room to talk about cell phone misuse, but there it is.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bernina - We All Sew Churn Dash

It happens every time I restore a quilt - I fall in love with whatever block is in the quilt and have to make some.

Serendipitously enough, just as I started working on the restoration of the church dash quilt in the previous post, I saw that Bernina and blogger Amy Smart were working together on a sew-along of churn dash blocks.

The directions are great if you've never done a churn dash before.  I'm not following the cutting directions exactly because I'm going scrappy - as I usually do.  I'm using anything fairly bright that I find in my scrap bins plus a lot of solids that I've been pulling together.

There's a Flickr group for anyone sewing along in the sew-along.  Fun to look at.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Before and during

This is my latest restoration project, a not-so-old but loved-to-near-death churn dash.  In fact, when the client brought it to me, I first told her I didn't think there was anything I could do for her quilt.  The sashing was shredded, basically. There was almost no quilting left.  The batting was in balled-up wads.  In most households, this would have been a dog bed years ago.  I'm almost ashamed to say that that's exactly what it would have been in my house.  It had a number of small stains that looked like ketchup but could have been who-knows-what!  I'm going to go with ketchup.

The blocks are an assortment of 70's-ish dress prints.  There's a variety of fiber content, which meant a variety of shrinkage amounts as the quilt was washed, which I guess contributed to the shredded sashing as the blocks pulled away from each other.

I agreed to take the blocks apart to see if there was something I could do with them - a smaller quilt of all the best ones, or something.  I ended up  being able to save all of the blocks except one.  The white background was the same fabric as the backing, so where I needed to replace background pieces I had "reserve stock."  I mended the blocks that needed mending and then I reset them all - a trick because they were all different sizes now, on account of the difference in shrinkage (and because while they were made with much love, they were rather casually measured and sewed together.)  It was a real challenge to my squaring-up abilities.  I still don't know how flat it lie once the quilting is finished, but I don't think that's the client's foremost concern.

So here's the top all put back together (except for the borders).  I'm quilting now.  I could make out faint signs of Baptist Fan hand quilting in the original. I hope it will look like the original quilting, but there was so little of it left, I can't really be sure.  I hope the client likes it!  I should be finished in a month or so.