The oldest unfinished project on my list was completed yesterday. It's a sewing saga that's been unfolding since November, and it's involved a redefinition of what "done" means. The initial scope of this project was simple - "restore bedspread." Seems simple, right? How hard could it be?
The impetus for the restoration was that several fabrics on the surface of the bedspread were shredding. There were two different reasons for this problem. The first issue was age and wear, and the second issue was a lack of quilting.
The bedspread is made from a pieced vintage textile I bought in Istanbul which I augmented a bit, and then backed with wool. I didn't have a machine capable of quilting it at the time, so I just assembled it and hoped for the best.
After putting the backing on, I machine-darned some of the most damaged sections through all the layers to hold them together. This ended up being the worst idea ever because I didn't baste beforehand.
There was about 1/2" of slack fabric on the back left over from the assembly process. This half inch of fabric shifted all over, and was held in all the wrong places by the sections of machine darning.
All of the darning had to go. The seam-ripping alone took more then ten hours. The best trick I can pass along is that a good pair of eyebrow tweezers works great for yanking out threads.
Once all the darning had been removed, I basted from the center out and started quilting. The moral of this sad tale is that basting really is important.
Check back tomorrow for part 2!