Friday, April 04, 2008
harken back to days of yore
The recent acquisition of a ton of beautiful cotton prints has me thinking about the genuine blankets that I have made in the past. As with most quilters, my very first quilt was for my first child. Colin will be 28 in a few months. This blankie was used daily as much for dragging around as sleeping under and so was machine washed and dried almost every other day (for about three years) out of necessity. To this day, I'm impressed at how well it held up. Nine months is a long time to fiddle with one project. The only exposure to quilts I had then was casually examining a few dusty relics in antique stores. Even then they were undervalued. I think I took a book off the shelf in the library and put it back. No one in my family quilted. I was on my own with my own ideas about how a quilt was built. I saw it as a building process even then. The fabrics were all special except for the pink backing. I just can't remember where I got it but I know I chose pink to hedge our bets - this was before you could easily know the sex of your child before it was born. The rest of the fabrics were all family treasures in my eyes.Even then I was a fiber hoarder. The pale blue came from one of my favorite dresses back in sixth grade. The light brown print was a shirt that my husband wore when he was very young. The orange, green and yellow print came from a Mumu that my Aunt Jo brought me from Hawaii and the dark batik was a hand-me down maternity blouse given me my own of my longtime friends, Hilary. I can still picture her wearing it. She's a grandma now. I cut each two inch square by hand using a cardboard template and a pair of paper scissors. Once I had piles of squares, I decided that the design possibilities would be improved if I cut each square diagonally. Then came weeks of puzzle shuffling and then the hand stitching began in earnest. It's all hand pieced and was originally tied with cotton floss in the middle of each unit but in early use the knots weren't holding up so I went back and hand quilted inside each and every triangle. What else should one do while watching your baby grow?