Monday, October 22, 2012

A Piece of the Past

As much as I love doing machine quilting for myself and others, I am finding that I also love meeting people and hearing their stories behind their quilt tops.

The quilt I am going to share in this post is from my friend, Jennifer. She found this quilt top (among others) in her late mother's things. The top had been hand-pieced from small blocks cut from handkerchiefs, many of them silk. There was a note attached that indicated that the handkerchiefs had all belonged to members of one family. The top was small (only 39 inches X 56 inches). Jennifer came to me to see what could be done with the top so that it could be enjoyed by her and others in the family.

Initially, I was terrified at thought of machine quilting on such a delicate hand-pieced top. However, after talking with some of my quilter friends, I came to the realization that my fears of "devaluing" the quilt top by machine quilting were trumped by the need to help write the "next chapter" in this quilt's story. This quilt needed to be finished so that it could be enjoyed and cherished by Jennifer and her family.

So, I lined the quilt top with white fabric to give the voile and silk fabrics greater stability. I chose a mint green backing and binding for the quilt. My quilting design was a medium density leaf/vine design because I did not want the quilting to compete with the wonderful variety of handkerchief fabrics.I hope Jennifer loves it as much as I do!

 As I worked on this project, it occurred to me that my quilting is so much like the creative writing activity that I used years ago in my classroom. I would have a student write a paragraph of a story and then pass it to the next student in the row to write the next part and so on down the line. It was always so much fun to see where the stories would lead with so many "authors" involved. And so it is with quilts...I just stitch "one chapter" in the story. Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing me to be one of the "authors" in this quilt's story!

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