Monday, November 1, 2010

Not Just an Ordinary Quilt

(I am going to push myself this year and use LoLo Craft to participate in NaBloPoMo. Christmas is coming, and I HAVE to get my rear in gear! Hopefully, this will give me the push that I need to get busy!)

They’re just scraps of fabric, like any other scraps of fabric. They’re cut into shapes…diamonds, squares and triangles. I found them in my UFO (UnFinished Objects) box, bound up with a rubber band. IMG_7521
And yesterday, I was ready to tackle them. Ming Wai was my side-kick, busily scribbling away in her coloring books.
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I laid out all the pieces and tried to figure out what goes with what, and where, with whom.
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I can kind of picture it…a starburst, edges filled in with triangles, and then ringed by rows of square patches.
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None of the fabrics are ones that I would choose to go together. They’re not even the same weights of cotton, most of them thin to the point of sheer.
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None of the points match up completely. I don’t think the diamonds were cut completely straight.
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I don’t care though, as it wasn’t me that cut out the diamonds. Or the squares. Or even the triangles. The edges are worn and frayed from years of bundling and unbundling. I can only guess at the original quilter’s pattern, or even if they were meant to go together. Judging by the quilter’s other work, they are meant to go together in one big quilt, but the cutting was never finished.
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These pieces represent, to me, what quilting ought to be about. I’m sure they were all cut from cast off clothes or bed linens. Years of memories, cut apart and sewn back together to give it one last shot at life.

My Great Grandmother Susie, I believe, cut these out when she was alive. She was a quilter, but not like the Quilters of today. She made quilts because she needed quilts. I quilt in her memory. I have never bought $12-per-yard designer quilting fabric, and I’m not sure I ever will. I prefer to keep on in the Todd style, and use what I have on hand, the more memories the better.

After Great Grandma Susie passed on, her daughter (my Grandma Mary) started piecing these together. At least, I think this is the quilt I remember her working on. I remember her sitting in my parents living room, during a week-long babysitting stint while my parents were vacationing, and trying to put these together. She worked with a needle and thread. I work with a machine. I hope to piece together enough blocks to make a pillow each for the women of the family. The ones who remember Great Grandma Susie, and the ones who miss Grandma Mary the most.

The corners, no doubt, will be wonkier than I mean them to be. The pattern, no doubt, will be nothing like Mary or Susie envisioned. But, it will be ours…to remember them.

3 comments:

Julie said...

Terrific! What a special gift this will be. Keep showing us your progress!

Casey said...

What lovely pillows those will make, filled with memories. Good job!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I love this post so much. So heartwarming.