Tag Archives: quilts

Hanging by a Thread

27 Feb

Quite a while ago, I bought a very pretty set of quilt, dust ruffle, pillow shams, and curtains for our guest room. Most of the time the quilt is covered by the usual detritus of a sewing room, but a few weeks ago I decided to wash the thing. Once a decade, whether it needs it or not, is my motto. Well, when I pulled it off the bed, I realized it wasn’t actually quilted.  The top is stitched to a three inch wide green strip, which is sewn to a twelve inch wide strip of the same white floral fabric as the top. Those three rows of stitching are all that is holding the top, the batting, and the back together. If I had washed it all of the batting would have come apart and I’d have had one ugly lumpy mess.

The machine quilting I've been doing to make this monster washable

The machine quilting I’ve been doing to make this monster washable

So – I managed to stitch the green strip with big Xs, and have one row of plain stitching four inches from the edge of the white strip. I’ve also sewn around three of the big roses on the top of the quilt. A much more involved job than I anticipated, mostly because the blessed thing is so big.

I have done most of the straight stitching on the Xs using straight pins to mark the lines, but when it came to the long rows along the edges I decided to use a marker. I have a fabric pen, but the line fades so fast by the time I get to the end of the quilt it’s gone at the beginning. Tailor’s chalk doesn’t work on white fabric, so I grabbed a blue marker off the table. I had only gone three inches when the fabric sort of puckered under my hand, and as I moved the marker to smooth the cloth I discovered I’d grabbed a Sharpie – a permanent marker! – instead of the washable Crayola next to it.

I think I would have simply laid down and died, just flat on the floor, if I had ruined that blasted quilt at the last minute.

Still plugging along at it.


19 Apr

One of the blogs I follow is “A Joyful Chaos” http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/

The lady has been doing an A to Z discussion of Amish life, and today she was discussing Amish Quilts.  She showed a picture of one she made right after she and her husband got married, and said it had taken her “almost a month” to finish it. I started a quilt when The Squire and I became engaged, and almost 40 years later, it is still in the cedar chest, unfinished. Of course, Mary Ann says she had no children and no technology to distract her, and even though I’ve never been one to watch TV, we started our marriage with three children between us – and I was working full time.

Back in the mid 60s, a woman with whom I worked found two pieced quilt tops in her mother’s belongings after she died. Sally had offered them to her two daughters-in-law, but they were not interested, so she asked me if I’d like to have them, as she knew I appreciated that sort of thing, and at the time I had two daughters. I was thrilled and deeply honored to have them.

Knowing I did not have the time or space to finish off these quilts, I asked my grandmother if she would take them over to Augsburg Home, the Lutheran Home for the Aged, and have the ladies over there do them for me, and I would pay for them when they were done. I know this is not a job that is done in a weekend, and with two children, a job, and a husband that was neither use nor ornament, I pretty much put them out of my mind. When I finally asked my grandmother about them, she replied, very casually, “Oh, you didn’t say any thing, so I thought you weren’t interested, and I gave one away.”

If I could have reached through the phone, I would have strangled her on the spot.

Sometime later, I was bewailing the fate of my lost quilt to my mother, and she said, “Ah! I wondered where that quilt came from! She gave it to your sister as a wedding gift. When I asked her where she’d gotten it, she just said she ‘fell heir to it’. I should have known.”  To top it off, the old lady actually had the chutzpah to have the quilt embroidered “To Lynn and Earl, from Grandmother” and the date.

Some people.