27 October 2015

Mission Accomplished


Nearly a year ago, a co-worker asked if I would repair a tablecloth her grandmother had made. A lifetime ago.

I didn't really want to do it. I knew it would be difficult to match the thread (and I informed her of this) and the tension. I knew the existing thread might be brittle. I knew it would take time, patience and eyesight.

I had other deadlines and obligations underway.

She said no rush.

Without my heart really in it but wanting to do something kind for another human being, I agreed to do what I could as soon as I had the time. I told my co-worker it might be a year before I could get to it. She didn't mind.

For the last ten months, that discolored tablecloth has nagged me endlessly. Yes, it has a voice, and it speaks guilt. Eloquently. It also speaks loyalty and honor.

My grandmother taught me to crochet. She was a master of thread crochet. We used to tea-stain crochet thread together. I have so few of the things she made. Because of that, I felt duty-bound to help someone else who has a treasure from her grandmother.

I had made a vest with this very same motif, a pattern in my grandmother's stash, when I was still a teen. I still have that vest and can still fit into it!


Last month, my packed schedule opened up just a tad, and I decided to get that tablecloth done and out of the way once and for all so it wouldn't nag me anymore.

I noticed for the first time three of the 144 motifs were worked with a different thread, as well as the edging. I wondered if it had been fixed once before because the cream-colored thread seemed stronger than the eggshell-colored thread.

The first step for my repairs would be tea-staining some thread in an attempt to match the eggshell color as close as possible. I believe the tablecloth has been aged by, among other thread sins, cigarette smoke. I don't have any of that on hand and don't want any, so I hoped tea might suffice.








One by one, I began making the repairs, beginning with the easiest fixes first, not because I wanted to save the most difficult for last, but to make sure I knew what I was doing before I attacked the biggest wounds.

As I suspected, each time I attempted to bind off the new thread, the old thread would break again. I can't even tell you how many times I had to rip my fixes back and work them again to make the cover more ground. Three times, I was in tears.




Patience and (spectacled) eyesight persevered until the very end, however, and the tablecloth is back home now with its rightful owner, who promises to keep it safe from any further damage.

Good thing, because I will never, ever do that again!








Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

12 comments :

  1. Well at least you finished and it was an experience, even if you'll never ever do it again haha

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pat! Yes, an experience. What a way to describe it without saying that overused word that also starts with an e...

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  2. An excellent job on monster task. It turned out great. I'm you're done with it now.

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    1. Thanks for putting up with me as I trudged through this one, Lizard!

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  3. I had to repair an afghan for a friend. Being nearly 50 years old, the colors were way off but she is happy and I was glad to do it for her but I do not want a job like that again. You did pretty darn good!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle! Oh, how I understand never wanting to do it again!

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  4. Wow - what a great repair to have finally undertaken. Hard, painstaking work but so rewarding in the end.

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    1. Thank you, Abigail. I have to admit, this felt so much more rewarding to finish than just about all the quilts I've finished this year combined!

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  5. Thank you for fixing it. It's a beautiful treasure.

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    1. Thank you, Tammy. I hope it will be treasured from now on...

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  6. Bless you, Deb - beautiful work!

    I feel your pain. One of the magazine projects I just finished turned out to have a flaw in the lace portion - I only discovered it when blocking the finished project (aargh!). It was an exercise in patience and skill and I don't know what all to go in and fix the mistake. At least my yarn wasn't old and brittle! You are a star.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue! I bet you are so relieved to have those three patterns done and gone! Fingers crossed another lands on the cover...

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