Sunday, October 4, 2020

Mending a Memory

 My mother must have made this quilt for me some time in the 1940s, as I remember it being on my bed when I was quite small. Over the years it had gotten worn and was mended by some clumsy hand stitching (probably mine when I was a teenager). When the quilt was too far gone for further use, it was put away in a cedar chest, where it lay folded for decades. 

This is what much of it looked like:

After much thought (years and years of thought!) I finally decided I was brave enough to try to save what was salvageable. I cut off the two sides that were in the worst shape, added binding to the cut edges, and then took out the awkward old hand stitched mending. This made all the tears and worn spots visible and ready to be dealt with. 

Next, I used fusible interfacing, cut into tiny pieces and inserted into large rips and into small places where the fabric was worn. It was painstaking work, just perfect for this terrible pandemic year. When a piece of interfacing was set in place--sometimes with tweezers-- between the two layers of ancient fabric, I used a damp pressing cloth and a steam iron to fuse the three layers together. Tiny scissors trimmed away stray threads. 

And here it is: Faded, worn, and somewhat smaller than it used to be--but it is hanging where I can see it first thing in the morning and last thing at night, just the way I remember seeing it when I was a child.