Several months ago a client sent me a vintage crocheted coverlet that had been in her mother’s family for many years. It was made by one of her mother’s relatives but unfortunately neither she nor her mother knew who that was. Clearly it had been a labor of love, an intricate pattern with cotton crochet thread and a fringe border. But it had also seen better days. Like a lot of fiber items, its storage situation had been less than ideal and it had suffered damage from rodents and other vermin.
The client gave me free rein in repurposing the coverlet, hoping only that something could be done with it. The star design in the pattern immediately stood out, and I figured I could salvage enough stars to put onto blocks and construct at least a lap-size quilt.
Once I got going it proved more difficult than I’d anticipated. Cutting one star meant destroying the stars bordering it. When done, I’d only managed to get 16 stars good enough to reuse. I attached them to neutral fabric blocks (the client’s color choice) using a permanent fabric spray adhesive. Then I sewed, by machine, around each star using a fine-weight thread and small stitch. Each piece was hand-washed in a gentle detergent and air-dried, followed by pressing.
As I completed these steps I knew there weren’t really enough blocks to make even a decent-size lap quilt. Not ready to give up, I kept thinking about possibilities. I finally came upon the idea of creating a bed scarf, which was enthusiastically received by the client.
There was a little more sewing – the blocks together in two rows, the layers basted together on the long-arm, sewing the layers together on my regular machine, and last of all the quilting around each star. I hope the new piece will shine in its own way for many more years to come!