My mother was a quilter. She couldn’t sew clothes very well, but someone showed her how to quilt, and a new passion was born.
Now out of all of the children in my family, I am really the only one with needlecraft talent, except for crocheting. My sister, Colleen, crochets like a fiend. I’ll pick up the crochet hook now and then, but I have to say, I love to sew.
My mother made quilts for all of her children and I believe her grandchildren. That was a lot of quilts. I still have the one she made for me. What a terrific piece of heritage to have.
A few years ago I got to thinking about that heritage. My mother is gone, has been for some years, but when I look at that quilt, it just brings back so many memories. I decided I wanted to give that heritage to my family, my daughter and grandchildren.
So approximately three years ago I started with the oldest grandchild, Lily-Ann. She is like me in many ways, but most important of all, she loves the color purple, just like me. Now bear in mind I really didn’t know anything about quilting. I mean other then the need to be able to sew a semi-straight line. I did try to make a quilt many years ago, but that was a failed project.
I went to my nearest fabric store, JoAnn Fabric and then proceeded to pour over the quilting books, look at fabric and batting and say, “Help!” The other customers were great in giving me advise, and the employees were also helpful.
I picked up the book Simple Beginner Quilting, the Best of McCall’s Quilting and found a pattern I thought I could do, “Gelato”. It was my first experience with jelly rolls. Those little strips of fabric were so cool! Armed with backing, batting and more fabric, all of the notions a beginner could need, I headed home to begin to sew.
I got the top finally put together. We will not discuss all of the mistakes this newbie made, like washing jelly rolls. Nope, no discussion of things like that.
I made my quilt sandwich and then looked at this enormous quilt and with no clue how to baste it, bind it or much less quilt it, I put it away, discouraged to the end.
Thankfully my talented sister-in-law, Meriel, came down from Canada to visit. She saved my beginning quilting experience and the quilt. She turned discouragement into encouragement and helped me by showing me how to finish my quilt.
So yes, Lily-Ann, your quilt was the guinea pig, it was made with blood (gosh, those pins are sharp!), sweat (no a/c in that little apartment) and tears ( I told you, we won’t discuss those jelly rolls!). But all of the fabric and each seam and tie was chosen and done with love.
It sure wasn’t perfect, but she sure loved it.