Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rescuing the Unlovable

Yesterday I went to Berkley, Michigan to visit Guildcrafters Quilt Shop and the Oddfellows Antique Mall.

At the mall I found a sweet appliqued coverlet for $28. It featured a center medallion and a border.
 
 It had two stains which I decided I would be able to remove. I was told that people had passed it up many times because of the stains. The price had been reduced over time.
 
The applique in pink on a white ground has remarkable small stitches.

 
 
 
 
Over the years I have brought home numerous unlovable quilts. Last month I found the Double Wedding Ring on a blue ground that I am repairing by appliqueing vintage fabrics over the fabrics that have decayed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Many years ago I was given a quilt which needed a new binding, and I used vintage fabric for the binding and to repair decayed fabrics.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I found a quilt made of matching fabrics in three color ways, repaired with a house dress so the button holes show. It was badly stained, as if it had been used as a mattress pan. Three washings and the stains were out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I finished a quilt top circa 1900 by repairing the decayed fabrics and layering and quilting it.





This wonderful one patch quilt also needed a few squares replaced. I used reproduction fabric, appliqued over the original square. The fabrics seem to date to the early 1900s.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I know that today finding beauty in decay is quite mainstream. Upcycling, repurposeing, and Shabby Chic in decorating is very prevalent. At The Rust Belt in Ferndale, Michigan you can find industrial repurposing in furnishings and décor, such as Hudson Industrial's reclaimed wood and metal furnishings. I wrote a few months ago about a book on Detroit's abandoned buildings. Urban decay is another contemporary fascination.

 
One of my brother's creations; his cabin chandelier
I think in my case it is genetic. I cried when I saw good things in the trash when I walked to elementary school.
 
My brother hauls things from the canal behind his house and turns them into décor. He has repurposed for years before it had a name.
 
Our grandmother worked at the Goodwill store, and I think she wanted first crack at the good stuff coming in! She once found and gave me a winking eyeball ring! She had a sense of humor!

Best of all, rescuing unwanted animals is now mainstream! Our Suki was in a puppy mill for seven years, and so unsocialized that even after a year in foster care her first 'forever' family returned her! It took several years, but she is a Real Dog now. It just took a lot of loving.

And I am really glad there are many of us ready to take on the unlovable.