Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Continuing on

When I was in junior high school, home economics classes were still held as a mandatory course for the female student population. A firm, but helpful woman taught girls how to sew, understand the food pyramid, and follow a recipe. As a hold-over from more economically stressful times, girls were taught that a wife’s duty was to save the family money by things they would learn in this class.

I had no interest in learning to cook although we made a terrific strawberry-rhubarb puff that semester, which I still make now and then. And I had already been sewing simple jumpers, but picked up quite a few tips in class and my sewing really took off. Fabric was my addiction, and I enjoyed the freedom in creativity. I found that I could exchange sleeve styles among dress patterns and have something completely different.

Years later I took one class for a patchwork wall hanging and jumped into quilting with both feet. I put some small quilts for sale in a local quilt shop. The owner admired my work and hired me to do the hand-quilting on some of her quilts that she entered in contests. Then life went in other directions for me and I stopped quilting. Basically, I was working two jobs and taking a college class.

Over the years I’ve come across old quilt tops or patchwork squares that were started by women who passed on long ago. In some cases I have completed the quilts, in others I have sold them as is. It is my desire to preserve or carry on the dreams of women who came before me. So when I came across these few patches and scraps last year, I knew I would make a quilt from them. Having only a few pieces to work with became my challenge.

I took them out this past weekend and bought the extra fabric I needed. I’ve been working on the piecing and the top is almost finished. So far, I think it is a fitting tribute to the original seamstress.

This creativity has encouraged thinking about what I want to do for myself. Anyone who creates a quilt will dream of all the different ones they would like to make, knowing that there really isn’t enough time to make all of them. I’d like to start to tackle that list in my mind, making as many as possible, hoping that someday my children will find them safely stored away for them and their children to enjoy and know that I made these for them.


MyStory of HiStory said...

That's VERY pretty - I like the design & the colors ... & that you're enjoying the process of preserving an almost lost art --- even as I'm just trying to figure it out for myself. Thanks for your advice at my end! - & I do hope you'll post a pic when it's done :)

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hello MyStory,
Thank you. You're starting at the best time - when things are settling down for the winter. I think you'll enjoy it! And post pictures of your progress too!

Mug said...

Oh my...I LoVe your design and colors...I am very impressed....Beautiful and so professional looking! I must say you have inspired me....Is a quilting frame necessary? Or can you just lay it out on the floor or a large table and pin and sew?

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Mug,
Thank you for your generous comments. But the compliment goes to the unknown person who started the blocks years ago and picked the soft colors.
No frame is necessary. To assemble the top, you can use a table or the floor. To do the quilting, I use a 24" hoop because it's portable. To the couch, the recliner... :)
If I "tack" a quilt instead of quilting it, I use the living room floor.
It's a great project for the winter - adds that extra warmth!
It's great to hear from you, especially since you are busy now. Hope school is going well.