A elderly neighbor, of my sister, started a quilt for my great niece and never finished it, probably due to arthritis. Sister, dearest, was going to finish it but when she moved back to Texas, the quilt was accidentally left behind, in my sewing room. I've looked at it for months and finally decided that I would finish it.
When I began looking at the quilt, I decided it really need to be taken completely apart and started again. Oh boy! I had no idea what I was getting into, obviously, because some of the squares weren't squares at all. More like trapezoids or parallelograms. Everything but squares! I thought, "I really need to make these "squares", real squares", but then something happened and I really "saw" the quilt...almost as if for the very first time. I "heard" the squares talking...The more I handled the quilt, the more it spoke to my heart. I
realized this quilt, with it's many faults, was much more than just a
I could tell, much of the fabric was old, probably from the elderly lady's clothing or perhaps a favorite nightgown. If you handle fabric a lot, as I do, there is a definite difference between old and new fabric. By new, I mean modern. There is a sturdiness to the old while the new stuff is rather flimsy, in comparison.
I loved the feel of these older fabrics. Then, I began to realize, all
those wonky squares had been cut by hand, with scissors. I imagine an
old pair of heavy, steel scissors. Probably not sharp at all. Each cut
was done with a wobbly hand, for sure, but the fact that little elderly
hands used what she had, touched me. I decided, then and there, I
would leave the "squares" just as they were and piece it all back
together the best I could.
I felt if this little lady had been able to finish, she would have made it a tied quilt, so that's what I did. I dug through my boxes of embroidery floss and finally found exactly what I was looking for. A few years ago, my elderly friend, Christine, passed away from cancer but before she got too sick, she gave me tons of her old craft supplies. There was hundreds and hundreds of skeins of embroidery thread. Most of it still had the original labels and prices marked on them. How nice would it be to pay three cents for a skein of floss! I knew this vintage floss would be perfect for this quilt with it's vintage fabrics.
Here she is, all finished! If you look, you can see that some blocks are larger than others and hardly any of the rows line up, but I think it shows the character and spirit in which it was made. I guess this post, should really be titled, "Three old women and the quilt".
The original old lady that started it, the old lady that provided the embroidery floss, and the old lady that put it all together(me) and The Quilt.
Grace & Peace.