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.