Make Me Pretty!
Old quilt tops speak to me. I buy them as easily as I buy fabric to sew my own quilt tops with. The words that flow into my head when I see a top vary, but nonetheless I am compelled to buy it. I feel they have the voices of the makers speaking through them. Many of the tops I have gathered are from estate sales, the unfinished works of someone’s love of quilting sold on eBay or at antique shops. Unfinished works from days gone by that say to me; Make me pretty!
I want to make them shine! I want to feel like the person who made this quilt is poking their best friend in the arm when I finish each one and say with clapping hands, “I knew someone would find that worth finishing.” Over the years I have quilted a lot of quilts I endearingly call ‘rescues’. I have many hanging in my studio. 4 tubs of them under a table that go on tour with me when someone wants a dog and pony show about quilts and many more have found homes with various people who love old things as much as I do.
My New Year’s resolution this year is to try to finish the tops I have in my showcase. I also want to work in the tops of mine that I am constantly piecing. I try to schedule time on my quilt calendar to do my own stuff, but things happen and I fall behind. Last year was heath issues that made walking difficult and keeping up with my client’s quilts was my top priority. I did a fine job getting everything done. The only glitch was the 2 week Christmas vacation I had scheduled for myself and intended to do my own quilting got sucked up by a customer quilt that the maker did not understand that a 100” x 100” custom quilt could not be done in 2 of 4 days she had scheduled to do 3 quilts in and I graciously said I would do it on my 2 weeks off, never realizing it would eat up 10 of my 14 days. Imagine a giant sigh escaping my lips.
|Make me Pretty|
I finished her quilt and still had a few days to relax. I opened up a box of tops I have waiting and pulled out this gem of a quilt. It is 68” x 74” unbordered 9 -patch blocks set with squares of off white muslin. Some of the blocks are hand-pieced, all of the fabric is old, probably from the late 30’s. This is a charming quilt that spoke almost out loud Make Me Pretty! The muslin is coarsely woven but sturdy, perfect to showcase quilting stitches.
|Someone besides me is happy about this outcome|
|even the back is pretty!|
|found perfect fabric for binding in stash!|
|sampling of feed sack, old 30's green and fabrics we see today as reproductions|