I just wanted to take a moment to talk about the beautiful art of quilting. Piecing, quilting…it’s amazing.

I mentioned in my last post that my great-grandma quilted. She and my Meme left me a number of quilt tops. Some, pieces by my great-great-grandmother! They would go to the shirt factory in Chattanooga, or use scraps and old clothes, and carefully sew the tops together.

Quilts are where I got my own sewing start. Quilting, not piecing. I hope one day to be good at piecing. When I turned 12, my Meme decided to quilt my a quilt of my choosing. I loved looking through all the tops, smelling them, running my hands over the fabric. I picked a pastel starburst top…boy is it in need of some fixing, now.

Now, I won’t say just how old this beauty is, but it’s served me well for more than a decade. My husband has since claimed it as his own quilt. I don’t blame him, it’s soft and full of love. 
She decided after that to teach me to quilt. We picked another top, one she thought her grandma made. Fandango. I still have it…it is also in need of some patchwork.

Such a beautiful array of fabrics. When I was a teenager, it hung from a quilt rack in my room, by my bed. It’s gotten a lot of use since then.

She finished it without telling me, and made it a big surprise. A special touch, it makes me smile every time I see it.

She spread it out and showed me the back. Taught me to appreciate the stitches, the design they left. I cringe now at my awkward beginner stitches, but that quilt was my start. By the end, my stitches were smaller than Meme’s. She sat there admiring my best stitches every time we quilted after that.
I learned the traditional hand quilting, stitch in the ditch. Not freeform. Sure, those can be pretty, but, there’s something about the old fashion way that speaks to me.

Before she passed, we started one more quilt. A pink, floral Sunbonnet Sue. Six years later, I still haven’t finished it. It was too painful to try afterwards. Meme was my motherly figure. My best friend. I put it away, and tried at random times to quilt it again. It sounds silly, but as long as it isn’t done, I can still hold onto something special between us. Maybe I’ll let my daughter’s quilt on it when they’re older.

Quilts are part of their heritage. They’ll never know my Meme, but they can hold a quilt she held. Work the same fabric she did. Maybe that’s why Meme encouraged my love for quilts. I could take a top her Granny, a woman I never met, made…and finish it.

I could see her hand stitches, marvel at her choice of fabrics from decades before I was even born. The above quilt was one she made, too.  Beautiful, isn’t it?

That’s part of why I like old quilts. Each piece of fabric has a story. 


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