Time for another foray into the world of vintage textiles and I must say, I am happy to get back to this project as it is proving rather interesting to me. I love the idea of reusing, recycling and reinventing these fabrics, but am also unsure as to whether I can successfully combine beautiful old hand work, with more modern fabrics and sewing ideas. If you need to catch up with the previous blocks, you can find the postings in the Categories section, under 2017 Vintage Linen Revival Quilt.
The two blocks I have done so far, seem quite harmonious, but this month, I want to add in a few print fabrics to give it an altogether different feel. Both the fabrics are Alison Glass. One is vintage text print and the other a newer and rather cool print. I chose to ramp up the colour pop level too, with a vibrant raspberry pink background.
The crochet panel is left over from the last tray cloth that I cut up. I can never quite get over this kind of work. I remember when I took classes in Russian Embroidery and the teacher explained how it was done - it was so time consuming and precise and although I did a lot of drawn thread work, I never actually was able to complete a piece like this. The threads are pulled out of the linen to form a grid and the remaining threads are wrapped with cotton to strengthen them and form a clear graph like fabric. Then the selected squares are filled in with embroidery. It is a painstaking and difficult form of needlework. This panel is in good condition with just a few snags that I think I can repair, so as long as I am careful about cutting the edges and avoiding disturbing the outline, it should be usable.
So first of all, I secured the panel to the backing fabric with a simple machine stitch. It was almost invisible as the machine stitching sunk into the embroidery without much of a trace. The edges were a bit raggedy though and I decided to use a variegated colour thread and a close zig zag stitch to try to secure the whisky threads. It proved quite hard to do and kept moving under the machine, so wouldn't be something I would try again. However, I felt that the panel was secure, even if it did still look 'raggedy' around the edges. I decided to leave this until I had finished the rest of the block.
I added some diagonal strips of the two print fabrics and a piece of Broderie Anglais left over from last months block. It looked really pretty. I secured the last edge down with some machine embroidery - this project is a great way to try out all those stitches you have on your machine.
This time I wanted to stay away from the round wavy shapes of the last two blocks and introduce a more edgy style. So I decided to add a hand stitched zig zag line along the edge of the print fabrics. For this I used Chain stitch and a variegated embroidery thread.
With the block almost complete, I looked again at the raggedy issue - why not go all the way and enhance it. To this end, I simply used more variegated thread and made a sort of fringing effect with long and short directional stitching.
So this is certainly a little different. You have to say that one way of looking at a project like this is that you get a quilt packed full of beautiful hand work, without having to do it yourself. When I put this new piece alongside the other two blocks....perhaps it is developing into rather an unusual quilt?
I'll be back next time with the Painted Patchwork posting that I have also been working on.
See you around!
Love Ruby x