This button has been attached with ordinary stitching then since it had a dip in the middle I filled it with 2 beads. The lace is vintage and hand dyed by me.
The very old piece of lace runs along the edge of piece 3 was hand dyed by me. As you can see the edge is slightly damaged. Found in a junk shop in Oxford, England while browsing the store I spotted a roll of laces wrapped on a piece of broom handle! Someone had wound a piece of lace (about 6 inches long) on to the wood and secured it in place with a pin. Then they had wound on another piece and slipped a pin in. This was repeated until the roll was about 4 inches thick.
Needless to say there was a lot lace but also a lot of pins- all rusted! The wad of laces looked to me as if they were of 50’s vintage because that was what was on the outer layer. However since the pins had rusted, there was no real way of knowing what was in there. At the time I was curious about it and when I expressed an interest the shop keeper removed two pieces from the roll to discover the lengths were about 15 cm (6 inches) long and in removing them the lace was likely to tear. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.
When I got back home I was delighted because these small pieces of lace got older as I carefully unwound them. I think they were samples from a lace maker as each was tagged. To my amazement I discovered as I unwound the samples they got older and they went back to the Victorian era if not older. Unfortunately they were all badly damaged. The use of numerous pins to secure each piece of lace had caused rust staining, mould had also caused stains, and worse the samples were often torn.
This damaged state freed me up to use the lace for crazy quilting. If the the very old lace had been in good condition I would never have used them but since they were damaged, stained and beyond repair I felt there was no harm if used them for crazy quilting. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing. Basically I reclaimed what I could and made something of it.
This selection of laces also influenced this quilt in another important way. Because I wanted to use the scraps I had salvaged I decided to make the blocks the size they are. I felt the proportion of the blocks to the laces, highlighted them better than if they had been used on larger blocks.
What is the story?
This regularly published series aims to illustrate and document the hand embroidered seams, embellishments and decorations on my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. All articles are categorised in the projects under Crazy Quilt details which enables readers to browse back through the series.
Free Crazy quilt block patterns
In the process of documenting the seam decorations on this quilt, as I get to each block I am diagramming it out for readers as a free crazy quilt pattern. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.
I have released the block patterns and stitch ideas for non commercial use but I retain all copyright. Please attribute the work to me, and link back to this blog. You may not take whole articles from this series and republish online. Link please dont republish.