Monday, July 26, 2010

Vintage Horse Quilt Repair- Part 1

Yesterday I posted a picture of the vintage Horse Quilt that I bought at an auction over the weekend. The main area of the quilt is in pretty good shape, considering it's old (I'd say from the 40's at least), and stained a bit. But the Flying Geese outer border has some triangles that have deteriorated, so I announced an intention to scan the fabrics, and replicate them through Spoonflower in order to repair the quilt.

Blog Poster Lisa pointed out that fabric scans not only pick up the color and the print, but the warp and weft, the wrinkles and any quilting stitches, and anything else on or in the fabric. She was absolutely correct, so I started with scans, and then took them to Adobe Illustrator and fooled with the scans in order to eliminate as much of the *background noise* as possible.
This is a scan from the quilt

I used the Brush Strokes Effect in AI, and simplified the design

and then eliminated the stained background

And here's the comparison. I'll have to *distress* the new fabric (the file that Spoonflower will use to print the fabric is on the right), and maybe even tea-dye it to get it to blend in better, but I'm pleased with the replication.

I didn't bother trying to take out the quilting stitches for this fabric- they look okay on the sample to the right. The new fabric won't match the old one exactly (in design or color), but I think it'll match closely enough.

This one came out okay without much fiddling at all.

This fabric was so damaged that I started from scratch with the file, and redrew it rather than working from a scan.

Same with this one (the original fabric is on the lower triangle). Again, I'm sure I'll have to tea-dye and distress the new fabrics.

I've ordered sample swatches of all of these from Spoonflower. Sometimes the colors on the screen don't match the colors on the fabric, so I may have to do some tinkering with the files before ordering larger pieces. It'll take a few weeks for the samples to arrive, so Part 2 is going to be delayed for a bit. Given that I'm supposed to be working on a YA Fantasy, I think I have enough to do in the interim.


PamIam said...

Wow what a find....Love the mystery of dating that quilt....The squares look older to me....The sashing does look 40s....I always wish the quilt could talk....maybe someone in the 40s finished their mothers quilt...Anyway..the option of making fabric to match is great...Im busy buying your AG doll fabric for the 4 little grands.

Lisa said...

That looks great. My prints are very small, not sure I could do what you did with the horse fabric and Illustrator (if I had it) with a smaller print. Your picture with the Flying Geese red/black print is closer to what I'm trying to accomplish. Again -- can't wait to see your Spoonflower results. I'm also trying to print to paper fabric since my repair sections are small. Thanks!

Mary Keenan said...

Adobe Illustrator is so amazing! and I must say, so are you - I would never have thought of fixing a quilt this way. Love that horse fabric, yum :^)

joannamauselina said...

Wow! You are a pioneer of sorts.