Posts Tagged ‘repairs’

Wagga-style Repairs; Everything Old Becomes New Again, Eventually

Monday, January 9th, 2012

About 20 years ago I made this red/black/white/grey colour schemed quilt for our son Ivan to take off to college.  It has a lot of use and quite a few washings since then, and was presented to me last week in serious need of repairs.  I decided wagga style patchings were the only sane way to deal with the little holes along seam ridges, and some surprising fabric failures producing patches just hanging by few threads.  In one patch the batting had gone … but it has all now been repaired, taking several brightly coloured fabrics and about 10 hours of cutting and machine patching over the holes.  And of course all that can be done again in the future in true wagga style!

The pattern used was given to me on a class handout nearly 25 years ago, in the days when of course no one acknowledged sources of patterns and designs they liked and thought they’d like to share… even if something was clearly in the open domain.  So I did once look it up in Ginny Beyer’s  Book of Blocks and Borders, and found it was a traditional pattern or variation of one, which included mosaic in the title (the book isn’t to handto check this as I write)

And by coincidence, just as I was starting on these repairs, I was searching for thread in a nearby quiltshop here in Easton, and noticed among the books this one featuring the exact same pattern on the cover:

These traditional blocks have enduring appeal – here even enhanced by the wording of the title of this booklet, which uses as the base material the 2 1/2″ strips you can now get pre-cut from beautiful batik fabrics, all you have to do for this pattern is sew them up in light/dark pairs and cut triangles, arrange them according to the instructions and sew together. It’s a beautiful pattern done with 1  1/2″too, much finer.  I used larger strips because of the large prints and stripes – it worked well.  I’ve often seen it,  and in certain classes I hand out the same sheet I was given years ago – its the perfect scrap quilt pattern.   In the hand out instructions one had to cut one’s own strips of course – but that was the time when the new rotary cutter and long rulers had recently revolutionised quiltmaking, apparently – I take that on faith because the cutter already reigned supreme when I began making quilts.

Nice to see an old pattern is enjoying popularity again… or still.

A Totally Memorable Exhibition

Sunday, October 21st, 2007
To the right is the catalogue for a wonderful exhibition I was fortunate to see in the new Musee
du Quai Branley in Paris, just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.

The exhibition was of African artefacts, all of which showed some repair having been made. I had never thought before of how repairing something indicates it’s value to the owner or to the community to which it belongs, but it does. And in addition, the aesthetic sense if altered, too, so that the mend may compete with the originally intended value. A lot to think about there. The pieces came mostly from the vast collection of the Branley itself, some from the Louvre and other sources. The curators remind us that museums usually select intact works from their collections to show, although at any time most museums hold plenty of other damaged or repaired material

There were fabulous items incluiding some some wooden, some precious metal, textile and some ceramic- and a huge variety of techniques were used in the mending processes. The cover illustration is a detail of a beautifully incised gourd vessel, standing about 12″ high. It had broken for some reason – so holes were drilled and leather strips applied over the break and leather thonging ‘sewn’ or threaded through the holes to hold it all together. Naturally, when I saw this and a number of other examples of ‘sewing’ I was reminded of work I am interested in doing such as this example, above left, which I first blogged on July 4th last.

This exhibition was a real inspiration to me to continue to explore in this vein, and I am currently samplising. I have some leather thonging and some string, and can see something ‘rustico’ with either tan leather or suede and have some of each very nicely stained and splattered…

I apologise for the layout – something to do with the positioning of the photos on the right this a time although it has been sucessful before …. and when I deleted a word or two it got rid of the image….. which I have replaced with one upl;oaded in the editing phase – I find such occasional quirks and whims of Blogger’s unpredictable design ideas quite irritating at times, but since this is the third time I’ve tried to correct the layout! and dinner awaits, as they say in the Toyota ads – bugrit.
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