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A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z "Q"

Q is for quilts...

That's mighty country. The image, an old fashioned wooden front porch swing with a quilt lying across it, or an old "arn" (iron) bed with a crazy quilt.

The former was an image from Good Housekeeping magazine, and the latter was an image from my childhood.

Both of my grandmothers quilted, but their approaches and levels of finesse were quite different. My mom's mom was a perfectionist. A prim woman who always wore an apron at home, and her quilts were rather prim too--meaning precise and proper. And, they were beautiful!

The only quilt I ever saw that my dad's mom had made was a crazy quilt, with "1930" crudely embroidered on one of the random-shaped pieces of salvaged fabric that kept my dad, aunts and uncles warm.  The quilt was dull in color, with old snippets of wool and flannel remnants neatly hand stitched together.  My grandma and my aunts, as the story goes, made the quilt together.

Out of that quilting DNA, I'll share my attempt at quilting. I gathered instructions a few years ago, just a simple 9-patch quilt. Giving my paternal grandmother a nod, I used salvaged fabrics to make the squares. I measured, made sure it was all cut perfectly, the corners met just right --the nod to my maternal grandmother.  And by the time I had two 9-patch pieces sewn together, I was absolutely sure that any quilting gene had completely skipped over me. Yep. The truth of it? There are a lot more ways to arrange 9 squares than the instruction would have you believe., And by geez, I found at least two of them. :-)

I'll get back to it someday--and give a bigger nod my paternal grandmother's direction. Go for the crazy quilt... It's a good quilt. (lol).

And here's a the biggest nod of all to my friend, Theresa, in Texas, who made me a Christmas quilt two years ago. and it's just as pretty (and perfect and complicated) as the day is long!

And I have to go visit the quilters taking part in this year's A to Z challenge, and tell them how amazing they really are! To find more A-to-Z-ers, click Here

14 comments:

  1. I would love to learn how to quilt. I'm such a sentimental person. I've been having a hard time getting rid of my kids' baby clothes, and I always thought that if I learned to sew (yes, I can't do that either!), I could use their clothes and make a quilt of all these little memories I have. Maybe someday, I guess, when I learn patience. :) Until then, the clothes sit in tubs (and my husband isn't too pleased about that)!

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    1. I get it, Dana! I am too. I have baby and toddler clothes, half worn out but there are pieces that are big enough to work into quilts for them. And I have pieces of the fabric from my wedding dress to work into each of their quilts, too. And yeah, lol, my husband would prolly drop them into a clothing collection site. :-) Thanks for visiting. :-)

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  2. Nothing better than a cold day with a big warm quilt. I've never owned an authentic quilt, but would love to have one. I doubt whether my wife or I will ever make one though. There are a number of quilters doing the Challenge and they've put up some lovely photos of quilts.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Yes! A cold day, a cozy quilt, and a good book! Maybe one day you and your wife will get a wild thought and make a quilt!

      Thanks for visiting. :-)

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  3. Teresa, I think that salvaged fabric used in a quilt is so special. It tells a story! Last wknd, I had my first lesson in crocheting with my mother. I'm not sure she knows how to quilt, but maybe that will be my next challenge after I get crocheting down pat.

    Chontali Kirk
    chontalikirk.blogspot.com

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    1. I love that Chontali--that your mom is teaching you to crochet! It's never more beautiful than when the craft passed down from generation to generation. I hope you crochet lots of beautiful things. It's very soothing. :-) And good luck on that quilting when you get there. I think it's an awesome idea to tackle with your mom. :-) !

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  4. My family loved antiques and we had many old and beautiful quilts in our house. They were definitely more of the precise than the crazy kind. It was amazing to think of people hand-sewing all of them! We also had "rag rugs" that were brilliant, braided circular things.
    Great post! :-)

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    1. Sounds beautiful, Lexa! My 92 year old aunt still makes the oval braided rugs. So much work.

      I didn't even know that there was such a thing as "museum quality stitching" until I researched quilting before I gave it a try. :-)

      I bet your antiques were lovely!

      Thanks for visiting :-)

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  5. I will also check out quilter's blogs. I want to start a quilt and then leave that for my daughter to finish it. I know some one who started a quilt using little pieces of cloth from garments worn by elders in their family. I think it would be a great idea.

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    1. Munir, I think that's a beautiful idea! :-)

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  6. Being crafty myself I have often wondered about quilting...but I suspect I would like you find there is way to much to learn for a one off masterpiece to happen!

    Naomi @ Cornet Crafts

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  7. Somehow, I knew your letter Q would be about Quilts....being a country girl and all. I loved your descriptions of your family quilters and how you thought of them in the making of your own quilt. I hope you finish yours...afterall 'Finished is Better Than Perfect'. Enjoyed your post very much.

    My Letter 'R'...Rags to Riches
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

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    1. Haha! Yeppers. It's easy being transparent ;-) lol.

      'Finished is Better Than Perfect'. Might be my new motto. I like it.

      Thanks for visiting, Sue! :-)

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