Last summer we took charge of the family archives, about 12 big cartons full of loose papers and photos. The last few days, I have been working steadily to digitize the family letters from the WWII era. I have scanned literally 361 pages. They are interesting reading, but as they were all written on traditional cream-colored stationery, it feels like I am drowning in a Sea of Oatmeal.
I need to take a break from all these neutrals, and rest up on a Cay of Color, a Shore of Saturation, an Island of Iridescence, a Haven of Hue!
Here is a remedy, a quilt that has been sent to me to fix if possible.
It belongs to a friend of my sister’s, a veteran and a welder. (He is supposed to be writing the story of this quilt for me to post, and he is definitely not getting it back until he does.) But the summary as I heard it, is that he and some friends were doing volunteer work in Iowa to fix a lady’s house, and she was so happy that they were doing it, that she ran inside and started making them all quilts. He has cherished it for years.
It always makes me so happy when someone treasures a quilt that was given to them!
Based on all the kinds of fabric in this quilt, I made my own jump rope rhyme:
and crinkle cloth,
I’m sure there are lots more kinds of fabric included, but now I feel refreshed and can go back and finish the letters from 1946!
Haha! Clever post! I think you just might have your work cut out for you on that quilt, but what a fun story it has. I have a postage stamp quilt made by my great aunt, which was made long before the days of strip piecing. I remember her cutting each little 1-1/2 inch square, then sewing them together. It fits a full/queen size bed. All of the fabric is from clothing scraps, so there are all types of fabric in it. The backing is a big (ugly) piece of flannel. My mother didn’t like the quilt; I love it. It is beginning to show wear and tear, but it is well loved, and I know that would make my great aunt happy.
I can’t imagine working with those tiny pieces! I originally tried quilting when I was about 12 — I made one 8 pointed star block and was very disappointed because it didn’t all line up perfectly, and the center square was 4 inches square, so that tells you how big the pieces were in comparison to a postage stamp quilt. I think if I tried one of those, the pieces would just turn into little crumpled knots of cotton. What a treasure to have!
Not the prettiest quilt I’ve ever seen but it’s among the most beautiful because it was made with love and received with love. I know you’ll work wonders with it.
I really can’t wait to get to it! 🙂
Those old quilts make me happier than the ‘art’ quilts that are in all the shows. Good for you taking this on!
I’m with you! We’ll see how it turns out!
I say well done as always your projects are great. Blessings always, Mtetar
I hope to be able to fix it soon!
I used to think quilts were so strange, but since I’ve gone to college I really learned to appreciate them. They give me a sense of home when I’m away, not to mention they are perfect for snuggling and layering in the cold weather! They aren’t too heavy or too light, and they’re usually great sizes 🙂 Cool post!
By strange, I am guessing you mean because of the cutting and rearranging of fabric? I have heard a few people make that comment. I would like to hear your take on it!
You got me thinking about that — I think I have always loved scrappy quilts, but there are others I have never warmed up to, like Baltimore album quilts with their red flowers and green leaves and stems. I know they show technical beauty, but most of them just look too flat and predictable to me, and I think I also don’t like a flat, one-color background. And yet I love two-color quilts where the colors interlink, like a red-and-white double Irish chain. It doesn’t really make sense, but those are my tastes! It is just a mercy there are some quilts I don’t want to add to my collection! 🙂
The little bits and pieces with mismatching colors is what sometimes makes me stray away from quilts but I’ve also seen some really gorgeous ones!
Yes, it’s interesting how strong a reaction we can have to pieces of cloth and how they are selected and put together!
What an interesting story and I too love these old quilts. While the fabrics used vary in quality, its the love that went into making then that counts. My husband received a similar one many years ago for helping a friend in a move. The friend’s Mom went to a closet and took out a quilt and gave it to my husband. It was all sewn by hand and every time it’s used I can’t help but think of the time it took to hand sew the quilt.
Wow, that shows how much appreciation she had for the help, which is really nice. I would love to have that many quilts available to be able to give them away too!
What an honor to rescue an old quilt like this. I’ll be interested to read your process. From the photos, it looks like many fabrics were from the early 1970s. Does that sound right?
I would agree with you. I don’t really know its whole story yet, when it was made or how many were made at the same time and if they were similar. I love that the owner is asking me to keep it as close as possible to the way it is now, but he is also okay with changes if I have to make them. 🙂
Btw the quilt was made 1980-1981 so I’d say fabric from the 70′ s is spot on. She made about five of them for the “helpers”.
Now we’re talking color! What a fun quilt and what a great project–you are the *perfect* person to help with this, since you appreciate the folk art of it so much!
Thanks, I am anxious to get working on it! 🙂
What a fabric time capsule that quilt is, and what an antidote to ecru colored documents. Is that houndstooth a doubleknit?
Yes indeed! I think there are about a dozen different doubleknits included. And, I neglected to say, it is all hand-stitched!
Well, it looks like that quilt was a great antidote to all-oatmeal!
I noticed the quilt was hand-stitched right away. So, will you do the repairs in hand stitching too? Both of these projects bring true meaning to the phrase: A labor of love.
That is a good question! Probably not, because I feel like I would fit pieces in better with machine stitching, because that is what I am used to. I don’t think its owner cares either way, he just wants it to hold together. 🙂
Girl after my own heart. 😉 However you get it done it will be wonderful that you saved it.
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