Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beginning a Gift Project

I've always wanted to take on a vintage linen project  for 2 reasons.  One...because I'm from Oklahoma farm country where in my youth linens were seen everywhere. And second... Cindy Needham is a friend and has done wonders to revive the love and appreciation of vintage linens.
Not quite 2 years back, I had a day at Road To California I was not teaching and decided to take my buddies one day class on designing patterns for a vintage linen brought to class.  The number of stencil options Cindy brought was unbelievable. I relaxed ( a bit too much as you'll read), but designed and marked a linen with hopes of finding time to quilt it later.  The cutwork linen I'd purchased and brought to work on was SO beautifully made that I failed to note I had marked the linen on the BACK side.  Oh well... I had a great design day and a few mos. back I decided to carefully place the image on my light box and trace marked the front side too.

So the time to begin the quilting is now. I've placed a  contrasting value drapery brocade behind the linen so the cutwork elements can be appreciated.  I had secured the linen top to the backing using a  machine basting stitch grid of invisible thread  (which will need be removed later). After the fact, I wonder if this would have been a good time to use a water soluble dissolving thread...  but I'm fine with what I did .  I still found I was more comfortable pinning here and there but recognize some old linens might not like pinning.  This one did.
I begin like I do my art quilts... working from the middle outward. I used a thread slightly warmer color than the crisp white linen. I now know I might have used a slightly darker cream value but I'm good with this and will not 'unstitch"
Moving outward from the center there is a squared pattern of 8 cutwork elements.  All elements called for outlining to show off the cutwork.The cutwork looks nicer with the outlining and I now think there would be benefit in outline stitching the embroidery. I love the quilting journey.

Doing so added a bit of refinement /stability to the small original embroidery design. 
My short term goal ( still  progressively working my way out  from center toward outer edges) is to get the basic quilting done.  I'll be coming back to add filler elements to even better show off the original linen design.  I'm loving this... 'am awakening at odd hours to steal an hour of two of quilting. 

(  Cindy's book... "Wholecloth Linen Quilts"published by AQS  in 2007).  

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