I am a week behind. We’re actually in Corona Virus Week 6, but I didn’t get my post written last week because I continued to be busy cranking out masks. My current total completed stands at 54. But, I did want to write about a project that I completed last week.
In November, at the ACA Open Studios day a fellow Arlingtonian showed me a picture of an antique textile in need of repair and asked if it was something I could take on. On a snowy day a little while later, she brought the piece by my house and the repair work began.
Though it is hard to see in the BEFORE picture above, the main part of the textile has some holes in it so the first piece of work involved hand sewing a solid cotton fabric that matched the textile’s background fabric onto the back of the rectangle to provide some stabilization, but also to make the holes less apparent. I did the same on the 3rd flag from the left, which also had a few small holes in it.
For the second phase of work, I bleached some navy sashiko fabric that I had to try and get close to the color of the indigo fabric on the 5th flag from the left. Then I copied the design from the flag and created a new blue flag to replace the missing one on the 4th flag, using a reverse hand applique technique. Because the color wasn’t a perfect match, the client asked me to create an additional applique that I hand sewed on top of the 5th flag.
The final phase of work involved tackling the 2nd flag with its missing chunk. I attempted to tea dye some linen to match the fabric on the top of that flag. However, because the color match wasn’t that great and because the space to fill was ultimately small once the binding went on, I decided not to attempt to replace the missing piece of applique, but instead to add backing fabric to stabilize the entire flag and to fill in for the missing applique. I hand tacked down the loose ends of the applique and as a last step, added a patch of red binding.
The textile is now repaired, returned, and ready for its next phase of life.