Saturday, August 8, 2009

Retro-Action

Doesn't it seem that all quilters/sewers you know have that fabric/piecing addition just bred into them? Blood to blood, marrow to marrow, I am a product of the women in my family. My mother used to sew all of our clothes; once she even sewed my sister an outfit made from an Esprit pattern (yes, they made patterns in the early 80s!), and at my sister's request, sewed a real Esprit tag into the back. While my sister may have shyed away from that homemade style, I ran straight to it...I used to perch beside my mother's sewing machine to guilt her into sewing. I just wanted to watch. Mom made our school clothes, our Easter dresses, and all our Sunday pretties. My mother taught me that things were supposed to be used and loved. You wore clothes until you grew out of them, then they got passed on down...for better or worse (shoulders seams that hang a good three inches below your shoulder, anyone?)
My mother made (makes) clothes, my Grandmother Tot made quilts. It's in me, through and through. Better an addiction to sewing that a penchance for polyester smock tops....

That's a long introduction to my latest project! My friend, Holly, gave me a completely destroyed quilt that her great-grandmother made. Most of the backing fabric was worn through...Holly had attempted to iron-on a big denim patch to the back (really, Holly?!). Anyway, these past few days I have isolated a section of the quilt that was not totally destroyed. That in itself was a little difficult, but I was able to find a section of 4 rings (it's a wedding ring quilt) to cut out from the rest of the quilt (quilt purists...you did not read that I just cut up a quilt from the 1920s...you did not read it...you did not read it...shh...shh...shh....). Since I cut it out, I have been doing some major handsewing on this sweet beastie...no machine will touch this quilt! My plan is to finish off a small section of the quilt (I think it's about 36" square), and then hand-sew it to a quilted base/back so that it can be hung without worrying about stressing the fragile quilt. Make sense? I'll post pictures later.

Anyway, so that's what's been going on...lots of handsewing and reflecting on my own quilt history. I love knowing that I am participating in a centuries-old tradition. Talk about your retro-action.

2 comments:

peeppeepucme said...

All quilters/sewing professionals come with strings attached. Oh the truth to that. Your blogs are so inspirational and true. I am enjoying them. Keep them coming. :) - Quilting Cures

Holly said...

I love reading about your adventures, but I sure do miss Ellen!