Saturday, October 6, 2007

Lessons in Quality

Way back in another lifetime, about 15 years ago, I was given a gorgeous piece of Chinese silk. I kept it put away, folded, for years, until I finally asked my grandmother to back it for me so I could use it as a blanket. I had tender thoughts of this becoming the special "birthday blanket" to my future children - something to put on their beds on days of special significance.

Grandma is an accomplished seamstress, and took this simple project on easily. When she gave it back to me, the gorgeous red silk was framed in a heavy wool fabric. It was beautiful, simple, and perfect.

Today, I sat on my couch and ripped out all of her lovingly-executed seams. I felt sad and disappointed to take out my grandmother's work. But it had to be done: although she had used wool and silk of excellent quality for the outside, she'd used polyester batting on the inside. Big mistake.

Over the years, the batting had migrated to the outside of the wool, creating an uncomfortable, ugly "beard" on the black fabric.

There it is, above - the man made fiber culprit.

Her seams were so perfect! She double-stitched the seams for durability, and had "quilted" the blanket with invisible stitching hidden in the peony blossoms.

Lesson learned: don't skimp on good quality materials!

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