A rambling post that gives me an excuse to post some photos of quilts.
OK, see, there were these old quilt tops that my mom’s mom had lying around her house in Florida, and nobody really knew who had made them. Maybe they used to belong to an aunt, maybe not. But they were just the pieced tops, and Grammy Wilma was sure they were worth something. She convinced my dad’s mom to try finishing them: adding the batting and a backing fabric, quilting the layers, binding the edge. She did this with one of them and gave it to me. That will be the piece I am “designing” the new guest room around this summer. Here she’s binding it, and in the next photo she and I are posing next to the finished quilt:
It’s a pretty nice quilt, though my grandma says she never said as many bad words while making a quilt as she did with this one. She dealt with lumpy seams, an uneven pattern (i.e. this quilt top was not made by an expert), and old fabric. I’m going to hang it in the finished guest room by putting a muslin “sleeve” on the back at the top and putting a pole through the sleeve. The walls in the guest room will be painted a pale green. You can’t tell from the photo, but the green triangles in the baskets and the green binding fabric each have pale green bits in them. There is a dark green carpet remnant currently stored in the basement that will also find a place in this room. I bought a duvet cover and pillowcases from IKEA last summer that have similar colors to the quilt, and that will actually go on the bed. Why not put the quilt on the bed? Buzz likes sleeping on the bed, that’s why!
Incidentally, my grandma in these photos, my Native American grandma, is a prize-winning quilter. She has made dozens of quilts, by herself and with groups of people, and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have one of her quilts. My “original” quilt is a twin-size, with wide pale yellow sashing (my favorite color) and appliqué purple and lavender pansies on a white background for the blocks. I don’t have a photo to insert, and that quilt stays on “my” bed in my parents’ house.
So, my mom sent me a photo this week of a second one of the old quilt tops that my grandma had finished. She wanted to know if I wanted it, or if I knew anyone who would be willing to buy it. If so, she would bring it to the Adriondacks next week where we are meeting for a mutual vacation.
The second quilt is only two colors: red and white. It would be very striking on a bed, if you had decor it would complement. Here it is:
So the thing is, we don’t want it. It doesn’t go with anything we own, really. We already have another quilt that we love, and which we don’t have a good place for at this time: our wedding quilt. In our community of friends, people make quilts as a group and give them to couples when they get married (or as soon thereafter as can be managed by the group of quilters). Friends of the couple make different squares somehow relating to the couple, and they are all put together in one quilt. Here is ours:
This quilt actually has a title: Double Word Score, and is obviously based on Scrabble®, one of our favorite games. Some of the squares include West Virginia, tofu and edamame, piano keys, beer Greg likes, a viola, a garlic bulb, and Buzz! Unfortunately, I am afraid to put this quilt on our bed because we have skylights in the bedroom (plus Buzz sleeps on our bed too), and I don’t want the quilt to fade. Also unfortunately, our house has low ceilings, and there is no place where we can hang the quilt on a wall without it dragging on the floor. We’ve reached a compromise in which we fold the quilt and lay it across the back of a loveseat, and every so often (or not so often) I re-fold it so a different set of squares is showing. Maybe someday we will have a house with high ceilings, and then we can display our quilt properly!
Here’s a wedding quilt I helped make for a wedding celebrated last summer:
This was for Kristen and Eirik’s wedding. It is a hanging quilt, not a bed quilt, and had to fit in someone’s luggage for a trip to Norway! The square I contributed is the one with cod and herring, two of Norway’s principal fishing exports. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of any other wedding quilts I’ve been a part of. Sometimes I think I might like to make a quilt all on my own. Usually, I get disabused of this notion pretty quickly. The time, the patience, the tiny little stitches with the sharp needle… right.
Anyway, if you want the red-and-white stripey quilt, e-mail me ASAP and I can tell you how much my mom wants for it. I have to know before Saturday morning.