The Old Becomes New

I have continued to revisit old work that I wasn’t satisfied with, and revised two pieces, “Z Is For Zoom” and “7 Years of Bad Luck.”

Z was just too plain before, so I painted broad white stripes over the already quilted area and then covered the stripes with seed stitching.

Original

Add ons

Seed stitch detail

7 Years needed focus, so first I over-dyed the completed piece and stamped it with white ink. Then I cut off the top edge, added swirls of bias tape, and appliqued jagged chunks of silver lame on to represent the bits of broken mirror. As I was sewing the tape on I realized I was channeling Judy Kirpich. A new facing on the top and reattachment of the hanging sleeve completed the makeover.

Original

Revised

Do I think these pieces are now wonderful? No, but I think they are improved. My initial inspirations have been tempered with layers and more clarity in my intent, I believe. I’ve learned that a piece can take its own sweet time in revealing what it is meant to be.

14 Comments

Filed under Art quilts, Commentary, Completed Projects

14 responses to “The Old Becomes New

  1. WOW!!! What a difference a few changes make. The additions have greatly improved the overall effect of both pieces.

    • It’s been interesting to go back to the fork in the road and take the road not traveled. Like having your cake and eating it, too. OK, enough with the old sayings. The recent additions to these pieces make me feel I’ve learned some things over the last few years.

  2. How liberating it must be, to go back and make changes, even if the piece was sort of thought to be “done.” The 7 Years one, in particular, has been vastly improved, IMHO!

    • “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,” as Bobbie McGee said in the song. I find it applies to meh pieces, too. If I still don’t like it, there’s always the trash can. I agree with your opinion.

  3. Wow, what a difference. I like the updates. I believe layers are what make better works of art and I always struggle with adding layers to pieces I know will have quilting or have a lot of thread play. Have you ever painted fusible with metallic paint or used craft foil where a specialty fabric (lame, satin, etc.) may have been a consideration?

    • Because I seem to gunk up my iron with fusible no matter how careful I try to be, I tend to use alternatives that don’t involve it. I have painted fusible with nonmetallic paint and lived to regret it every time I tried to iron over that area on a top. My experience with foil is quite limited. I did use Bo Nash powder in a workshop to adhere foil, and found I liked it more than fusing the foil. Yes, I find layers add depth to a piece, in all senses.

  4. I like them both. But I think my favorite detail is the way that your new white painted stripes add even another set of angles to Z Is For Zoom. I would have just nicely lined up with the straight hand stitch rows, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to add more variety. And I also love the radiating angles of those hand stitched rows as they already were, and I think the way you added the white paint really highlights them better.

    • Thanks for giving Z some love. I did more hand stitching because I wanted to listen to an audio book (“Educated” by Tara Westover) and I can’t hear it well while machine sewing.

  5. Good for you! I tend to relegate things to the fizzle drawer and just abandon them.

  6. I’ll second what westsideartquiltguild said. 7 Years is much improved, and now it has a story of its own, whereas before I did not see it. Good work.

    • Thanks. I think the narrative for 7 years was in my head, but not in the design. Originally I quilted aluminum foil onto the top, but much of that fell off due to the easy tear nature of foil.

  7. I love the remakes of both but the focus on the mirror one is very much improved and I really like that one. Good use of hand stitching and innovative use of different materials to recreate both pieces.

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