Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vintage Chenille Bird

Vintage Chenille Bird
Originally uploaded by lasassone
On a recent trip to Carson City, Nevada I visited a newly opened quilt shop called The Sewing Studio. The show's owner carries a variety of unusual fabrics for quilting and garment sewing and some vintage textile items as well. This 10" by 7" piece is the first of six I purchased and will share with you over the next few days. The owner seemed happy to find someone who would give these pieces a good home. She said she just knew that someday a crazyquilter would walk in her door!
The shop's website, by the way, is here in case you'd like to see it. After you watch her little video make sure that you click on the slide show button on the left to see all the different rooms and gorgeous things in this wonderful shop!
Aside from the odd shape of this piece, it is in perfect condition. The bird's beak and legs are embroidered in long and short stitch using a single strand of a floss which may be silk. This is like threadpainting I believe and there is a subtle use of difference colors not only on the bird's legs and beak but also in the foliage worked into the scene. The cattails are 3 dimensional and done with a rich brown chenille in a tufting stitch where looped stitches and been cut and then shaped into the cattail shape.
I think the chenille used for the bird's body is the vintage chenille is often seen on vintage crazy quilts. It's very soft and I actually have some in my stash so I'm familiar with it. The bird's eye is glass and has been attached with a very tiny wire.
By scooting aside some of the stitches some white lines can be seen. It appears that the whole scene including the bird was carefully drawn onto the black satin-weave silk fabric with white paint.
Something interesting I noticed is that on the reverse of this embroidery the knots and threads appear to have been sealed with something perhaps to keep them from unraveling. On the other hand, the lighter colored chenille that was used on the bird's body appear to be brown n the back. I don't know if something was dabbed onto the back to discolor it or if it's just the age of the piece. I feels like the sugar-starched doilies my Mum used to make in the 1950's.
I have no idea what I will do with this treasure, but like the other 5 pieces, I think you could build a whole crazy quilt project around him!
I'm still winding DMC floss on bobbins and just heard from a friend that she found another Wal-Mart and managed to get a lot more colors including 54 more for me that were on a list I had given her of colors I don't have.
I'm having a painful flare up of the OsteoArthritis in my right hand and this winding is about all I can handle for now. I've always been very thankful that I only had OA in my left hand, but recently it has appeared in the joints of my right hand sadly. My mum had it in both hands so I expected it actually. I'm anxious to get back to my ladies boot pincushion motif on the pillow, but that tiny work is just impossible for now. But you all....

Stitch On!

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