Friday, July 8, 2011
Piecing the Patches Together.
I attend a quilters club once a month. After the formal presentation we get a chance to show and tell or show and ask about our quilting projects. The leader always asks us to tell our name and how long we have been quilting. Given the number of fabroholics in the room it seems a bit of a 12-step program; one in which we all support each others habits.
As I await my turn, I always contemplate which piece of my quilting journey I want to share.
As a kid I spent a lot of time with my grandparents on their farm. My grandmother quilted. Her quilting frame was made by my grandfather out of scrap lumber. The quilt was attached to strips of old, probably upcycled, ticking that had been stapled to the wood. The frame would take up the whole living room when the quilt was fully stretched. Grandma and her friends would sit around it and quilt, rolling it smaller as they went.
I would sit under the quilt and play with the old composite dolls, making clothes and blankets of my own. Much to my regret, I never paid much attention to the conversations taking place over my head. In fact, I was probably annoying them by singing some nonsense to myself. My grandmother always said I was her happy granddaughter because I was always singing something.
When my grandmother passed away, I inherited several boxes of patches; the small squares of fabric she and my grandfather would cut in preparation for her sewing. In amongst the scraps was one of my small quilts. I don't remember making it but I do remember the fabric and the trailing yarn and shade of the quilt frame with a soothing murmur of voices keeping time with the flying needles.
The little quilt pictured above is one I made for my sister out of some of grandma's patches. I selected the turquoise and pink to match the ballroom in her house. The backing is made of a cloud fabric to reflect the clouds she painted on the ceiling of the room. I put it together using fusible interfacing. It is machine quilted in parallel lines and bound in a coordinating pink fabric.