Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Once upon a quilt...

My first effort that had anything to do with quilting was when my mother handed me a quilt top, and told me my great-grandmother had hand pieced it. It was a pretty blue color. I knew nothing about quilting, although I have a bachelors degree in clothing and textiles, it really didn't teach me anything about quilting. I took the top from my mother because she said, "You are the only one who might do something with this." Well, then I felt obligated to do something with it!

In my ignorance I took off to the fabric store, and bought the fluffiest batting I could find, and a sheet that coordinated with it, and borrowed some quilting stands and got to work. I had no idea what to do, it was a 9-patch (I had no idea that is what it was called at the time). I decided to quilt around each 9-patch. I had heard people talk about how Amish quilts are wonderful, and they can quilt 12 stitches per inch... I tried to take tiny stitches, but it was hard to get through all that batting!! I didn't know that I should try to get more than one stitch on my needle at a time... It took me over a year, but I finally completed my sloppy little tiny stitches around each of those 9-patch squares. I was so proud of my self! I folded over the back, and used that as my binding, and now I was finally done.

I had no idea what an awful job I had done! I was thrilled and proudly showed it to anyone who was interested. Fast forward a few years, and I move into a new neighborhood, and in making new friends, met a wonderful woman with amazing quilts! All hand quilted, and gorgeous. One day when she was over at my house, I showed her my quilt, and she looked at it and said, "Oh, look at those tiny stitches!". She is so kind! She began teaching several ladies in the neighborhood how to quilt, I have been taking her classes for 3 years now, and I am mortified that I ever showed that quilt to her. I don't think I did a single thing right! It hangs on the wall in my sewing room, and I pin things to it... so it does come in handy -- but isn't it awful?? I keep looking at it and wondering what I should do with it, for real. It is an antique, and great grandmother did a wonderful job with her piecing, she was meticulous at matching up seams and corners. It somehow seems wrong to machine quilt it, but I really don't have the patience to sit down and quilt it by hand, and I don't have room to keep it up for however many years it would take me to do it right!! What a dilemma.

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