The first photo, below, shows the front of a comforter that (my mother told me) my paternal grandmother made from her (and Grandfather's?) wedding clothes. Over the years (about 100 of them, give or take - the wedding was in 1908), the batting had clumped and shifted and torn so badly that the comforter was unusable. As my sewing machine was clattering and skipping stitches (as opposed to its usual beautiful stitching), I knew that I wouldn't be using it for a while - until it had been serviced and, possibly, repaired. (I took the machine in for servicing, yesterday, and they said it would take about one week.) Thus, I started disassembling the comforter. My intention is to keep the front and back as intact as possible while making the comforter into a quilt.
The lighter pieces are from muslin. If you are familiar with old, old fabrics, you know that muslin had about the weave and heft of well-made cheese cloth. Thus, many of the lighter pieces have holes worn through by abrasion of cloth edges at the seams. The large, black squares are a hefty, highly textured material that is in good shape. The smaller, navy pieces are a plain weave; but, are a little tighter, heftier weave than the muslin and are almost all in good shape. (For those who wonder at the bits scattered over the surface of the quilt: they are tufts of thread. Grandmother had used two strands of yellow-ish tan and two strands of rusty red threads to tie knots - intended to keep the batting from shifting.)
The back of the comforter, below, is a twill woven of a fine-gauge yarn - wool, I think. The back is sewn from the gores of a skirt - alternating direction to provide uniform width. I suspect that, at some point in its life, the comforter spent time (perhaps years) folded at the foot of a bed - which would account for the bleached look of one end (which is the "foot" end). Originally, I believe that all of the panels were of the same, deep green. (Note the patch in the foreground.) One panel is badly spotted and has several holes (some of which had been patched on the inside), so I am pondering the adviseability of replacing the whole panel or of applying one large patch (probably on the inside, with top hand stitching around each of the holes - the way that Grandmother taught me to make a neat patch!)
Today, at the office, I was unable to work (computer problems that were not solved within a couple of hours); so, I dropped by a quilt store where the owner is having a going-out-of-business sale. (The owner, at age 87, has decided it is time to retire!) They had no woolen fabrics; but, I was able to pick up wool batting (photo, below) for the quilt that the comforter is to become.
Finally, because I know that one of my blog friends grooves on turkeys, a photo of our turkey family that has recently returned after an absence of several weeks. Originally, we had a mother and nine chicks (see Young Turkey Family). Now, the family is down to seven, total, and I can no longer tell the hen from the chicks. Unfortunately, one of the turkeys has a lame leg.