After my sister-the-quilter gave me our grandmother’s quilt top pieced from old feed sacks, she sent me two other sets of quilt pieces. One was a box of log cabin patches complete with the red square for the fire in the middle of each and a light side and a dark side. There were maybe forty or fifty squares, and for ten years or more, I would take log cabins to school, take off my shoes, crawl around on the floor, and lay them out in the open space of the classroom. The kids and I would squint to see lightning bolts, or rearranged they would appear to be boxes and then diamonds. When I retired, I sewed them into blocks, with the light sides in the middle so that when I squinted, I would see the diamonds. The sashing is in reds and browns, and it is bound, tied, and on my bed in the winter.
I am not a quilter. I am a lover of quilts. Every quilt has a story, and this is the story of the one I am working on right now.
Next, my sister sent me strips of blocks of stars, hand sewn and alternated with bright pink squares. She got them at an auction. They were pretty rough looking, and I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that pink color with the vintage LeMoyne Stars. When I was still married, and living in Arizona, I took the strips to a quilt shop, and the lady suggested I swap the pink, which was called “bubble gum” with a yellow called “lemonade.” Lemonade I could swallow! I deconstructed the strips, reconstructed them with the lemonade yellow, and put together the quilt top. The two outer sashes came from Anne’s fabric stash. It is my first real quilt top, sort of designed by me. I brought it to the farm with me this summer, and last weekend, my sister and I put the layers together. The backing is a soft flannel blanket of Aunt Carol’s, and I’m sure she’s looking down on this quilt with a smile on her face. She was a lover of quilts, too.
I am telling you, I have been doing it the hard way. Anne has all the tools, and every crafts-person will tell you that the right tools make the difference. First we “basted” the three layers with a gun like thingy that fastened it with plastic tips like the kind price tags are attached to clothes in the stores. Then we rolled it up real tight on two long poles with a plastic brace on each end which held the two bars an equal distance from each other. Next we tied it with carpet warp from the loom, unrolled, tied, unrolled, and tied it until we got to the other side. Now my quilt is off the poles, and ready to be bound on the edges.
There are all sorts of memories wrapped up in the stars, the squares, the colors, the sashes, the ties, the backing—all materials that were available in my home or my sister’s home. The places where it was constructed over a period of six years are a part of the memory—Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin. Mine is a happy quilt, and this is its story.