Saturday, April 18, 2009

Remaking a Quilt

unfinished strip quilt top

I've never met Mrs. N, but I know she's a kind, generous woman. She donates a few tied quilts to Project Linus almost every month. I see how she lovingly uses the bits of fabric she has. However, her fingers are not as nimble nor her eyes as sharp as they used to be and her quilts don't meet Project Linus' quality standards.

I know Mrs. N does her very best work for Project Linus and really wants to help comfort children. My heart aches because I cannot put a Project Linus label on her blankets and give them to a child. Part of the Project Linus mission is to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity and I hope we are fulfilling that for Mrs. N.

I recently had two blankets from Mrs. N with nice, heavy white flannel on the back. I decided to deconstruct the blankets to reclaim the flannel, perhaps to use as "batting" in a blanket. The ties were easy to clip. The handstitching on the binding was a bit stubborn in spots. The machine stitching on the binding easily pulled out.

The fabrics in the top began talking to me. With the layers of the quilt separated, I started pulling the seams apart. The sewing machine tension was off just enough that little effort was needed. Free up an inch or so of thread and then pull the rest of it out in one piece.

This is a Quiltathon weekend, according to JudyL at Patchwork Times. Right after "Sewing With Nancy", I headed to my quilting area. I separated the rectangles in each strip and trimmed each one, straightening the sides and squaring the corners. I did a couple of strips at a time, trimming, then stitching the rectangles back into strips, to somewhat preserve the way Mrs. N made the top.

When all 16 strips were nice and straight, I did a bit of reordering of the strips and started stitching them together. I found a maroon print and cut 2" strips for sashing between sets of 4 pieced strips. This added 4½" to the length.

Tomorrow, our 3rd Sunday Project Linus group meets. I'll cut border strips and complete the top. The inner border will be the same fabric as the sashing and I found a print with a blue background for the outer border. With the sashing and borders, it will be a bit larger than the original 36" x 42" size.

It feels good to remake this quilt so it can comfort a child.

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