I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, February 10, 2011

HQDQ Finito!

 Hello! If you read my blog regularly, you're probably totally sick and tired of my tiny quilt saga, right? So you have my permission to wander off elsewhere in blogland. BUT as is often the case, I have a story to tell with my quilt....so maybe you'll stick around?...and tell me what you think?

Here is the Midnight Stars top, completed. For those of you visiting from Lori's blog, I made this quilt to showcase my collection of antique calicos, with modern bits thrown in (cheddar, double pink; mystery turkey red.). You can read about my trials and tribs here and here...

I did add the red border to stabilize the old fragile indigos. Tech info: blocks = 5" finished, top = 21" fin, 25 w/ borders.
And here is the back. I found the antique feedsack with the turquoise elephant! Is he not ever so cute! (My kids were totally blase' about the miniature top showcasing all "mom's old fabric bits" but they loved this backing, which is, obviously, an old feedsack extended with repro turquoise calico.

The feedsack front was okay but the back was quite stained despite 3 or so washings. I was afraid if I bleached it or kept washing it, the elephant would fade away entirely and the red printing was pale to begin with. So I cut off the chickens*^%$-stained sides and added the print. Yes I could have used the double pink for the entire back, very trad, but I like a surprise on the backs of my quilts, something in keeping with the plan  (i.e. make-do, scrappy) but not matchy-matchy.
The binding will be very dark blue indigo, I just have to find some or beg some from my quit dealer friend.
The story, you ask? See the elephant's heart? With the shaky schoolgirl name embroidered on it: Lizzy?

As I worked I pictured a young mother  and  her only daughter snowbound on the prairie, one frigid January long ago. The menfolk were, well, elsewhere. (no! Not at the pub watching the football game. Maybe---hunting? Trapping?). Every day when lessons were done, little Elizabeth, or Lizzy as they called her---worked on her doll quilt, her painstaking endeavors gently monitored by the mother, who gave Lizzy the smallest but prettiest scraps she had in her work basket. The young mother wavered between strictly requiring perfect seams and then sometimes more leniently allowing a few off shapes and cropped points. She herself industriously sewed on her fashionable turkey red and purple quilt. Her own mama had sent the fabric last fall, from back home in Cherry Grove, Ohio.

When the quilt was finished, Mama found an old washed out feedsack that she had saved for a dishtowel. It was faded and patched but soft, clean. They had planned to use a pretty pink---leftover from Lizzy's newest pinafore,but Lizzy wanted to use that for her doll's new dress!

 Next summer, Mama told Lizzy, they would sit beneath the apple tree and Lizzy would learn handquilting. Mama thought straight lines...but Lizzy thought: Fans.

til next summer when I quilt it at the beach....



PS Mama's quilt would make a wonderful miniature, wouldn't it. (hint, hint, Lori?)