Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Rayon Dress Quilt: Work in Progress

One of my grandmother's quilts originally looked very un-quilt like to me. It is made up of very slippery fabrics and is very light weight. A summer weight quilt I suppose. My impression of quilts was that they were always heavy and made of wool. So I wonder where these fabrics came from? I doubt there is anyone left who can actually answer that question. So I have guessed and called it the Rayon Dress Quilt.

My blocks are all completed and I started the proofing a couple of weekends ago. Some of the colours in the quilt are quite faded so I started the proof in brighter, fresher versions of those colours and I will see where that gets me.

Most of the blocks are multi colour,so it means mixing up a whole batch of different colours and then finding enough small brayers for the inking. I think the fourth block has seven colours on it. The upper photo is the proof after printing two blocks and the lower photo is the proof after printing four blocks. One more block to go and then I'll see what I think of the result. I'm getting a feeling that I will want to make changes. So far the print looks too smooth, not like material at all. I know what I have to do to fix that, but it means making two more blocks. Or maybe three.

The bottom photo is a portion of the actual quilt which now looks every inch its age. It has faded over time. Parts of it are ripped. Some of the fabrics seem to have streched at different rates, so some are flat and some are bubbly. But in spite of the toll that time has taken, it retains a wonderful sense of fun and whimsy. The colours are a little bit riotous. The stripes start and stop just as they please. The crossed x's and diamond patterns wander randomly across the surface. And yet, the finished quilt is a whole jumble of fun. If this was an unplanned pattern, it sure as heck worked.


  1. I also have a couple of aged quilts I would like to repair. Am wondering if rayon Is acceptable fabric to use as a quilt top.

  2. I am not a quilter, but I would think that rayon is too delicate a fabric to use if the quilt is still being used as a quilt. But if the quilt is only for show, then rayon may work.