Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quilting

one of my quilts from Grandma Ruth
Detail of Minnesota square
Creating: One of the creative pursuits I have tried once and may or may not do again is quilting.  I took a beginner's machine quilting class shortly after we moved into our house over 11 years ago.  I had a dream of making a quilt to hang on the wall in the living room, the big wall over the stairway.  My Grandma Ruth (my dad's mother) was a quilter (thus her nickname "Quilt Grandma".  Our other grandma was "Underpants Grandma" but that is a story for another day.) and I always loved snuggling up her quilts and having my mom tell the stories of the squares. "This fabric was a dress I made you when you were a baby.  This was a shirt I made for your aunt Julie."  The quilts were warmth and family history.  Grandma died when I was a freshman in college but she had the forethought to pack and label the wedding quilts for the younger grandchildren well before she passed so on my wedding day, my mom passed along the quilt Grandma had made for me.  It happened to be one that my mom had helped with.  It is red, white and blue and the squares are embroidered representations of each state - the outline of the state, the state bird and flower, the year it became a state, and a tie where the capitol is located.  Cozy, comforting and educational! 

Wedding quilt

And so I set off to my first quilting class with quilting in my veins.  I liked the class pretty well, and enjoyed getting to sew and learn how to piece the quilt.  I decided to tie my quilt, instead of machine or hand quilting it - if ties were good enough for Grandma, they were good enough for me.  That went fine.  Then I had to stitch the binding on. And to make it look nice, it really needed to be hand-sewn.  Oy.  It took me months to finish.  And the quilt?  I have yet to add tabs to hang it on the wall, so mostly it hangs over the railing.  It turned out pretty well, but I think I would rather knit.  Thankfully I have my grandma's quilts to continue to warm and inspire me.

Quilt I made
Miss you, Grandma Ruth!


Mom said...

Oh Grandma Ruth! She made the most of every scrap of fabric that came her way. There are pieces of drapery fabrics, old clothing, scraps from sewing projects and some from who knows where. She was one of a kind and we were lucky to have her!

Grammy said...

Howdy there, my new friend! I, too, am a quilter and have made quilts for both daughters, and grandchildren, and baby quilts for my great grands. I always put my name and their names on the quilts. My machines are quilted as I go, and made on my sewing machine. My mom and sister made quilts the old fashioned way, by hand. I had a pizza today that had thin sliced turkey and jalapenos on it. OH, YUM!
Best regards to you. Ruby aka Grammy

Francene Stanley said...

Your quilt looks amazing. I love the colors. I don't know if you have any children. (What I know is you eat, read, garden and cook-and of course sew). Anyway, you'll need to pass your quilt on to someone special so the warmth and love you sewed into it will remind them of you. I've made many patchwork quilts of my own and love them. Blog on!

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