Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Quilting Roots


When I was a little girl I was tucked in to bed every night under the weight of a few homemade quilts. I loved the comfort of the weight of the quilts, and knowing that the quilts were made by my grandmother and her sisters made them even better. I always knew those quilts were held together with love and stitches – no wonder they felt so cozy!

 
I also loved any opportunity to snuggle under a quilt while watching TV or reading a good book. One of my favorite things to do was to admire the quilts – the random fabrics, the different sized stitches depending on the grandma or aunt who worked on that section of the quilt, and the way the squares or triangles came together to create a cohesive pattern.

But my favorite part was recognizing fabrics in the quilt that were scraps of something else I knew. The square that matched a dress my mom had made, a triangle that was the same as my sister’s blouse, or an appliqued flower that was like my grandma’s kitchen curtains. I loved the familiarity of fabrics, and in hindsight I realize that I really loved the resourcefulness of the process as well. Nothing ever went to waste. 
 
I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for Carrie for a while now, and when I came across this pattern I knew I’d been inspired. But, I wouldn’t be using designer fabric that was color coordinated and all matchy-matchy. Not that there's anything wrong with that! But I’m using scraps because that’s where my quilting roots are. I love that this quilt will have squares that match an apron I made for Carrie, and some turtle fabric I used for a camera strap. And what’s really cool is that I inherited some of my mom’s fabric scraps so this quilt will hold little pieces of Mom’s leftovers as well.

And just like my grandma and her sisters used to do, this quilt will be held together with love and stitches. In years to come, when Carrie snuggles up under the weight of this quilt, I hope she will appreciate it for all its randomness and resourcefulness.

I’m pretty sure she will.
She is my girl, after all.

16 comments:

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

That is absolutely the best form of patchwork/quilting for me and as it should be. I have lots of pretty fat quarters in my stash, but can't quite get my head making a quilt with them!
I love heirloom quilts, made from the leftover scraps of other projects. My first foray into patchwork was at my Gran's side, using the scraps from my cousins' bridesmaid dresses. I think I may have blogged about it. I'm sure Carrie with love and cherish it and most importantly enjoy snuggling under it x

Irene said...

Looks like you are off to a great start. Like Fiona, I'm sure Carrie will love and cherish your quilt stitched with love. Can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Becky said...

What a wonderful thing to make for Carrie - I am sure she will treasure it. Looking forward to seeing it finished :)

Carrie Rosalind said...

Ummm...TEARS! Was I just not listening when you told me or is this the first that I've heard (read) that the scraps are from special places? LOVE that and I can't wait to sleep under it! Awesome blog post and thanks for spending so much time on such a special quilt for me. Love you so much. <3

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

That is so sweet! and I loved the part about love and stitches! Deb, you are awesome! what a lucky girl your Carrie is to have you!

Maria Ontiveros said...

I'm tearing up along with Carrie!
My heirloom quilts are crocheted one made by paternal grandmother. They are intensely warm and durable. I would love to have the skill and patience to make a patchwork quilt.
Rinda

Susan said...

Love it! Looking forward to watching your progress!

scrappyjacky said...

It's going to be wonderful.Deb....and obviously Carrie can't wait to receive it.

Miriam said...

This is so lovey deb. of ourselves your daughter wil love her quit made with love by you. I would love to make a quilt bu I fear it would never get finished.....

Amy said...

What I often do, when reading blogs, is look at the pictures first, when browsing in Feedly, and then click over to the blog and read the content and look at the pictures again - you need this random information so my comment makes sense ...okay? ;)

My first reaction was to laugh, because, you see, I have tried quilting, twice. The first time was with my Mum and we sort of stumbled through it together and made a very slap-dash sort of quilt. The second time I assisted in a class project for The Ten Year Old, I was the cutter outer and a very experienced quilter mum sewed it together - boy, when I look back now, I wonder if she re cut all the pieces because I was shocking at cutting out and had no clue whatsoever apart from the fact that I wanted to help!

I am laughing because your squares of love are PERFECT! Perfect, perfect, perfect!

Carrie is a very lucky person to have such a thoughtful Mum :)

Audrey said...

I really can't imagine a much more beautiful gift than a quilt. I've been dying to learn to quilt for YEARS now but I have no free time with my two, high energy, young girls. I'm always looking out for classes and I intend to take one in the future. I already have a PILE of old clothes from the girls to use. Like you, I LOVE the resourcefulness. I can't even wait to see the one you make!!!

helena said...

oh yes I love recognising fabric from old dresses etc in quilts - all the ones I made growing up were from scraps and I do love them the most

boysmum2 said...

patchwork quilts are made from the heart and there just isn't any other way for it

Karen said...

I grew up sleeping under homemade quilts as well, and am still lucky enough to have a couple of them. I tried my hand at quilting many years ago, but couldn't quite stick with it long enough to get one finished.

tainted with a positive view said...

Deb, when we were in Florida recently going through things, we found 1 finished quilt and 3 quilt tops. One quilt was made out of scraps of fabric from clothes that my mother made when we were kids. We LOVED looking at that fabric and remembering different garments she had made.

Gail said...

Oh my Deb, what a lovely post. I'd love to see the finished quilt. I tried taking quilting up but let's put it this way - I can't so a straight line if my life depended on it. I have lots of fabric for one - I should see if I can find someone who can put it toghether for me but then it wouldn't be the same.

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