26 January 2010

Crazy lady on the stair

OK. This isn't actually about a crazy lady, unless you count me.
 This is about a square of crazy quilt made by my great-greatgrandmother in England. She made this 18"x18" bit of loveliness by hand, presumably for a pillow. I've been meaning to frame it for years and finally got to it this weekend.
For someone that adores fabric like me this is heaven. I can't help but wonder what these scraps were originally part of. Did Mrs. Andrews outgrow a dress in her middle age? Or take down the outdated drapes. I can only imagine the stories that go with each tiny piece.
A seamstress I know thought this was machine made until I showed her all of the handwork on the back.
I began with a 20" x 20" frame and covered the mat with cotton sateen so that the ancient fabric would not be in contact with the acidic paper. I ironed it after I covered it.
I also ironed the crazy quilt square very carefully as the fabric is quite delicate in places.
I placed the square on the covered mat and did nothing else to hold it in place knowing that the frame would be tight.
I decided to leave the edges raw honoring the handmade, unfinished work of domestic art.
Next came the decision about where it would go.
I don't have a ton of wall space in my house. There are an inordinate amount of doorways leaving few places to group frames.
The items on my staircase wall were lovely but incongruous. So, I changed everything.
The map and architectural print were given to my grandparents by me for Christmas many years ago. The antique silhouettes, a prized possesion, I inherited and had a conservator restore and frame them. It has taken me months to find a place for them.
Its a refreshing little change in my house. Now I need to find a home for the the poor sad little paintings that were there before.

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