I've written about this quilt before. It was started by my grandmother many years ago for my mother, but it was never finished. The quilt top was pieced using bits of clothing worn by my mother, her sister, and my grandmother. It sat boxed up for 40+ years, then was given to me. And what have I done with it? Absolutely nothing, other than talked about it here a few times. I let it sit. Six and a half years later I've decided to finish it. Quilts are supposed to be used and loved, right?
At the time it was given to me, I had little quilt experience. In fact, I don't think that I had ever completed a quilt, or if I did it was only a small one. Taking on such a project was completely overwhelming.
It's a big-ish size. And hand-stitched. All the quilting done thus far was done by hand by my grandma. I know for certain that hand stitching was completely out of my realm. Beyond that, it wasn't put together like the quilts I had seen. I wasn't really sure what to do with it.
It didn't have a bound edge. Instead, the ends were folded over and the batting didn't quite go all the way to the edge of the fold. It was sort of a mess.
But now? I'm pretty confident in my quilting and hand sewing skills. I have a whole bunch more experience under my belt. I pulled it out Saturday afternoon and decided that it had been long enough.
The first thing I did was rip out the stitches on the foldover, then cut off the edges and squared it the best I could. I'm sure I decreased the size quite a bit, but it had to be done.
On Sunday I quilted it - not by hand :) When I first got the quilt I thought I would finish it how it was started, but I wanted it done. I snapped on my walking foot and went to town. I worried about tucks in the fabric because it was kind of loosey goosey, but the walking foot worked wonders. I followed the same pattern my grandma had started. After a few hours I was done, then I started in on the binding.
I chose something from my stash, a green dot that fit right in with the other fabrics in the quilt. I had one almost identical to the tiny green dot, but not nearly enough.
As I was hand stitching the binding it occurred to me that I get my love of bright colors and polka dots honestly. I could have picked out these fabrics today.
As soon as I was finished with the binding I couldn't wait to get it into the wash. After close to 50 years in storage, it was beyond icky. I crossed my fingers and threw it in. I felt that the seams were strong enough, but I was iffy on the batting and the bright RED backing. Would that old fabric bleed? Would the batting clump?
I'm happy to report that it survived and came out of the dryer clean smelling and fluffy! It puffed up quite a bit, much more than the quilts I usually work on.
And now we have another quilt in our collection. I think it just might be my favorite.