Sunday, May 29, 2016

Peaceful Night Complete - Again


Today

October 2014


Have you ever put countless hours of thought and effort into a special project only to later discover that it had a 'fatal' flaw?  Every time we air or wash the twin's Musical Stairs quilt I berate myself for having used a soft polyester batting (middle layer) as its fibres gradually work their way through the quilt front and back and make an increasingly ugly furry, pilled mess. Quilters refer to this undesirable attribute as 'bearding'. It was some months later that it dawned on me that I had used the same batting in my treasured Peaceful Night quilt - the one I designed, carefully cut the papers for, painstakingly hand stitched together and proceeded to hand quilt with precious silk threads! I triumphantly finished Peaceful Night over 18 months ago, with the two photos directly above shared in October 2014, as the jacarandas bloomed.

After trying to ignore the bearding issue, hoping it wasn't really true, I contemplated not using Peaceful Night, instead keeping it pristine, as a one-day wall/display quilt. But that wouldn't really do. I want my quilts to be used and loved for decades, not hidden away or thrown away due to becoming an ugly bearded mess. With great reluctance I finally acknowledged this quilt deserved to be remade with organic cotton batting, ready to confidently face being used and loved.



The hardest part was actually beginning to undo all those beautiful stitches..... I knew the backing fabric wouldn't quite fit again, I had questions about the binding and wondered if I even had enough silk threads for a second round of hand quilting. I plunged in, determined to cross each hurdle in time.

I found a beautiful fresh piece of organic fabric in matching colours for the backing, a length of Nancy Mims' Pick a Bunch which I had bought from the US back in 2011- a very happy realisation! I also discovered I had bought extra silk threads in my favourite colours back in 2014, plus I still had a little more of the binding fabric on hand. As I tucked the 'old' backing neatly away on my fabric shelf for another project, I quickly fell in love with the 'new' quilt, hand quilting with silks all over again.






It has actually been quite a pleasure to spend time with this treasure again. The binding needed extending by about an inch when it was reattached - I guess the quilt top must have relaxed and stretched just a little through the remake process. The quilting is exactly as before except that I added a round of single stitches to the centre of each star, like little spokes, to help secure these diagonally cut pieces for long term durability.





This afternoon Master T served patiently as quilt holder in front of my favourite local Moreton Bay fig tree which is close to the centre of town, while appearing to be a million miles away in the domain of gnomes and hobbits.....Wishing everyone a Peaceful Night! I know I sleep a little easier knowing Peaceful Night now has the happy ending it deserves.

21 comments:

Denise inVA said...

The quilts are stunning Karen, and beautiful background. Your photos of them are great. Especially loved the close up looking across from eye level and the one of the threads and of the stitching. I would never have thought about batting, and sounds like it was a learning experience. I can’t imagine the hours this must have taken but I truly admire how you undid everything and happy you got everything to the way it should be. Master T was a love to be such a willing helper and that Fig tree is amazing. Sweet Dreams!

Cloudia said...

I like your choices

Susan said...

Woh, this is still my favourite quilt ever! I think its stunning! I love the colours and especially the pattern. I hope it will keep you warm and cosy for many years to come. I recently started quilt lessons, machine quilting that is and next week is my first hand quilting class. We have had a couple of hard months and I'm so happy I found your blog posts again. They cheer me up and make me long for a vacation to Down Under :) Hugs from Scotland

Erin said...

Wow Karen, Totally impressed with your tenacity!!

Fun60 said...

You have so much patience to rectify that problem. I was pleased to hear you enjoyed the task once you had started.

Patchwork and Play said...

Sounds like it was all worth it! Now you can enjoy your quilt for a very long knowing it was the right thing to do! You've inspired me to go back to redo my Shelburne Tartan- unpicked but unloved in the bottom of the cupboard.

Lisa Gordon said...

Karen, you are truly an inspiration.
The quilt was beautiful, and still is beautiful.
It was certainly worth all of the work you put into it.

Michelle said...

perfection, yet again

Rick Forrestal said...

I love hand-made quilts, with great design and colors.
Like YOURS.
You should be proud!!!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Oh my goodness . . . I remember when you were quilting this one. I think I might have just started to follow your blog and was so impressed with your hand quilting. Something I do not do. I can't believe you actually undid all that work. Love the photos toward the end and as always, love this quilt.

SarahZ said...

Oh yay and happiness all over again! I really can feel the enjoyment of spending that time with your quilt again :) Fun new backing...and won't what ever you use the old one on, carry quite a bit of this with it ?! Beautiful setting, wonderful helper, although I quite expected Miss V (or O) to be attached to those sneakers, lol :)

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

You are right about the old backing Sarah. Miss O, N and G were all out watching hockey. Miss V was wearing shorts (yet to buy her a pair or two of long pants and a jacket to make it through our winter), Miss E is too short and I knew Master T would be plenty strong enough…..plus he was able to squeeze in another few minutes driving time there and back to add to his Learner log book. :)

Hope said...

I do so love this quilt. The colours, the subtle contrast of the pale stars, the quilting, the silks... it's all so beautiful. It was definitely worthwhile replacing the batting. The quilt I made a few years ago for one of my nephews beards terribly and I'm going to have to do the same with it one of these days. I used a pre-cut bamboo batting by Sew Easy - never again!

Mary Col said...

Incredible!... Beautiful quilting!!!...

Sarmatix said...

Beautiful quilt and beautiful scenery! Greetings from Poland.

Susan said...

Such dedication to your craft! But it was worth it, and now you really will be able to have a peaceful night. Beautiful.

Cathy said...

Karen, it literally hurt me to read this. Yet, you were courageous and determined; you did what must be done and even found joy in the requilting. I believe you will have more "peaceful nights" now that has been settled.
A jacaranda tree, I am going to google that right now. It is gorgeous!

the momma said...

Oh my goodness! Those threads must have been so hard to snip. (I do hope you tossed any remaining batting!)
It is a beautiful quilt ~ I'm glad it's going to be properly enjoyed.

christine said...

I can so relate to taking out those stitches. A few weeks ago I decided to take out some stitches as well. I rarely use a professional long arm quilter but I had a silk lone star quilt (three stars) that I was hesitant to do. She did a great job on the background but not so great in the stars themselves. I knew they would not be very visible once hung on wall but I would know. I finally removed stitches while hoping the holes would not be obvious. Since it was silk, I didn't want to wash. I spritzed the stars and no holes. I was able to do a different machine free motion design and feel I've improved upon the quilt. The new stitching is still not very visible on the hanging but I'm happy.

I also like the post you just wrote about visiting the seaside. Those blue crab creatures are interesting...I forget all the names you gave out already!

Lynette said...

Oh my goodness, Karen~! Good for you! I know just how you feel about the bearding issue. I don't care for it, either. I have to hand it to you, though, for redoing this! It would take me years to follow through. You must feel exhuberant to have it finished they way you want it to be!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thanks Lynette - thinking of my quilting time with the long term in mind helps me clarify what’s more important to me. :)

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