Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Irish Linen~Progress Report

I have several pieces going at the moment but I am starting each morning working on my Irish Linen and wanted to share my progress!

This particular linen has felt special to me from the beginning even though it arrived in pretty bad shape.  I wanted to repost the before/after photos after washing with Retroclean. 

I spoke in my  previous post about how badly damaged this you can see from the very first photo fabric was missing from two corners.  There are multiple tears and rips due to the fabric being SO fragile and as I handled it more tears occurred. 

I decided in order to keep it from completely dissolving I applied Bosal woven fusible cotton stabilizer to the back and cut it away from  the Irish Crochet. This helped tremendously!

I thought I had found the perfect underlayment for this but I hadn't.  My first choice had a yellowish cast to it and it looked awful.  This linen, after washing, had almost a grayish cast to it and NOTHING matched.  A trip to the antique store on Monday provided the perfect match!  I found a large, tattered petticoat in a corner of the store and it was almost perfect.  I was able to salvage enough fabric, sew it together, and have the perfect piece for the underlayment underneath.  Because of the perfect match most of the damage doesn't show as much...whew! 

The more I work with this piece the more I am seeing evidence of how someone before me so lovingly tried to save this piece too.  Check out the intricate handwork trying to fix and hold this together.

 Sooo...check out this corner and the edging...something needs to be done about this.  It's in this condition all the way around.

I decided I needed to add a lace border to cover this up and give it a beautiful ending.  My friend, Karen, found some fabulous crocheted pillowcase lace that was the perfect size and texture.   I decided that I needed to cover up this outside border to make this work and be beautiful...I am not going to cut it off...just cover it up.  The heavy texture and border of the crocheted  lace will hide this.

Remember I had two corners where the lace netting had rotted/torn away?  I decided I needed to fill it in with "something" to add texture.  I have some vintage netting from some old lace and salvaged a couple pieces and tucked them in underneath.  It's not a perfect match but at least it's something in there.

I'm getting ready to baste this piece...I'm using Quilters Dream Cotton Select and a beautiful woven linen yardage for the back.  I'm still not sure how I'm going to do the quilting but I'll be sure to share the journey as I go.

I felt it was important to share the process of this piece as it is so easy for us to discard beautiful old linens due to their damage.  This particular piece is spectacular and has a wonderful presence and energy to it.  You can just tell it has literally been loved to death and it's my honor to bring her back to life even for just a little while.

Hugs, Cindy :)


Leeanne said...

Thank you for sharing, such beauty. You are taking great care. I look forward to the progress. I hope this comment gets to you, so many of my comments to you bounce back to me :-(. I just love what you do.

Karen said...

I am so glad the crochet edging works! I think I must have been a personal shopper in another life :). It's going to be spectacular.

Carolyn said...

Ah Cindy, you are a genius with how you work with vintage linen. I really love what you have done to restore this beautiful piece and can't wait to see how you approach the quilting. I agree with Karen, it's going to be spectacular!