Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Returning to my poor, neglected blog

 

Apologia: Last weekend marked the hellish return of my trigeminal neuralgia symptoms and I've asked my doctor to refer me to the surgeon in Winston-Salem who does laser surgery to bring relief from the pain.  This is as bad as it's ever been.  Everything seems to trigger the pain--toothpaste, talking, chewing. drinking cold water, walking, touching the right side of my face, etc.  Saturday, I mostly sat on the porch and tried not to move, but Sunday, I was tired of giving into the pain and decided to do some work in the studio and reactive this poor, sad blog of mine.  The baby quilt above is for the new baby of the couple who owns our favorite Indian restaurant.  I finished piecing it on Sunday.


  Dan and Steph left on Friday after a wonderful extended visit.  Anna was able to come for the long July 4th weekend and it was terrific being together with our entire family for my  66th birthday.  Anna made me a delicious and beautiful cake and we all enjoyed our meal at Lucky 32, an excellent Greensboro restaurant with fabulous catfish.

Jim is greatly improved in health.  The brace and the walker are gone, but he relies on a cane.  He is getting himself around to therapy and school and generally looking and feeling more himself.

Safety Pin Studio has seen the usual number of baby quilts as well as a t-shirt quilt for my cousin, Lynn, and the repair and quilting of an antique quilt top of hers.  Anna's new apartment sports new curtains, too.  Dan and Steph's quilt was finally finished so that they had it on their bed here during their visit and then took it back to Canada with them.


My cousin's antique quilt top was in rough shape, but since I had some experience restoring antique textiles, I repaired everything first. The poor baby below had to be completely backed with cotton to save it.  I suggested that quilting the top would help to preserve it.  Using all 100% cotton (thread, backing fabric, batting), I sandwiched  and quilted it very lightly by hand.


The weather was cooperative, so I was able to baste it on the screened porch.


My cousin knew something about the history of the quilt, so I created a label on the back to preserve that information as well.  The block pattern was churn dash, so I made a little block of my own for the label.

The t-shirts that my cousin had collected over the years were very rich visually and made a very fun quilt. Making t-shirt quilts interesting presents a challenge because it is tempting to cut them uniformly in size which means you end up with lots of empty space and the thing becomes so heavy you can hardly move it.  I'm a fan of cutting the designs out closely.  I stabilize all the shirt pieces with a woven, iron-on interfacing which makes sewing regular cotton fabric to them easier. The differences in size can be dealt with by adding pieces of patchwork.







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