Friday, 27 February 2015

Repurposing

February has been a very mixed month with some projects worked on and work laid aside while we emptied the lounge for a new carpet.  Like many friends online I have had the decluttering bug and have been sorting and moving things around to try and create some order in all the chaos that my stitching bug brings with it.  More of that another time as it's still a work in progress.

I've posted some photos on Facebook today of a cushion that I've been working on and thought I would share it here.  Last year a friend brought me a large quilt top made of hexagons that she had worked on many years ago while her husband was working nights which meant she had to be quiet during the day.




The quilt is made of many different fabrics from cottons through satins to upholstery fabric.

Val, by her own admission, wasn't an experienced maker and had left a lot of fabric on the reverse of each hexagon amking the whole quilt very heavy even without a wadding and backing.


In some ways the reverse is more interesting than the front.  Some of the hexagons still have some of their papers in place.

Despite the many, many hours of work in the quilt Val had no sentimental attachment to it and left it to me how to use it.  She did point out that some of the fabrics had figured in her wedding and bridemaids' dresses.


I had a really good look at the quilt and offered it to someone who works with vintage fabrics and decided that it could be re-purposed into other projects.  However, as Val had put so many hours into the piece I offered to make her something from it, incorporating her wedding dress material and have just finished this cushion.


You probably can't see it too clearly but I inserted a placket (if that's the right word) to carry the zip as I didn't want to put a strain on the textiles.  I chose the section above as it has a variety of fabrics and some deliberately designed groupings.  I loved the two hexagons that hold a memory of a trip to Malta.
 
This side is intended to be the front of the cushion and incorporates the velvet wedding dress fabrics.  We don't know how the blue dye has migrated into the pink velvet as I don't believe those fabrics had been washed.   The cushion is approximately 19" square.

As all the hexagons were obviously stitched by hand I have bonded each cushion front onto vilene to provide some stability and then added a cotton lining to stop the vilene being rubbed off in wear.  I have tried to honour Val's original work so that she can see it is her own work returning to her.  Now I just have to catch her at her painting group as I don't have a phone number for her. Duh!

The hardest thing of all was cutting into such an old quilt, especially knowing how much work had gone into it and the age of all the fabrics.  I enjoyed looking at all the fabrics and recognised the style of many from my own youth.  I still have quite a lot of the quilt left to play with or share and do plan to extract some hexagons to include in the memory quilt that I plan eventually to make.

11 comments:

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Sweet that you made her a cushion with her wedding fabrics. I am sure she will get much more use out of the cushion that the unfinished quilt. What a lot of work she did though. xox

sharon young said...

What a lovely reuse of such a lot of work and so many memories, I'm sure your friend will be thrilled with this delightful cushion.

Heather said...

A lovely task but quite a challenge too. Your friend will be delighted with the cushion and you have more of the original to play with.

silverpebble said...

This quilt is like a beautiful fabric archive. I love the cushio you've made with it. Hello! x

Amanda said...

You've done the quilt proud there. And yes, you're very brave too!

Gina said...

You've done a lovely job with the cushions and far better to use the old quilt for something new than have it languishing unused.

Linda Vincent said...

Wow....a lot of history in all those fabrics. You've done a beautiful neat job, Julie. x

underatopazsky said...

What a lovely and thoughtful job you've done with the cushion. I'm sure it will mean so much to the recipient that you've treated the original so sensitively.

Margaret S said...

I am trying to upcycle more recently and your very effective cushions have given me an idea! I'll let you know if I ever get to do it.

underatopazsky said...

That's such a lovely thing to do and it's come out beautifully.

Emma said...

This is lovely & you've really respected all your friend's hard work now mingling with your own ;)