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On Quilts

February 6, 2012
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{Thank you, everyone, for your sweet words on my last post!  Thank you also for bearing with me while I took an unexpected blog break.  The last few weeks have been full of celebrating, adjusting, and lots of real life.  Now that my head is screwed on (mostly) straight again, I’m happy to be back!}

I didn’t grow up with quilting.  California in the ’80s and ’90s was full of many things, but handwork in general, and quilting in particular, was not among them.  I did, however, grow up with quilts.  My Iowan great-grandmother and her two closest friends made many quilts together, a few of which came to live at our house.  Each quilt is entirely hand-stitched, and batted with worn-out flannel clothing.  Growing up, I was fascinated by the tiny, slightly imperfect stitches, and by the intricate patterns they drew across the bright colors.  They are, quite simply, beautiful.  The quilt that became mine is a bright, cheery yellow against a soft white background, and has come with me in every move since I left for college.  Since I believe that part of the beauty of handmade works of art like quilts is that they are meant to be used, to become part of the backdrop of everyday life, my great-grandmother’s quilt sees a regular (though admittedly careful) rotation in our house.  My fascination with the skill and patience of quilting has continued to grow, and last year, I joined the ranks of my family’s quilters.

Last Christmas, for the second year in a row, I drew my grandma’s name in my family’s annual handmade holiday gift exchange.  Since her mother is the source of my quilting inspiration, I threw caution to the wind and decided to learn to quilt.  Several books, tutorials, and a calloused middle finger later, I had this:

Quilt 4

Quilt 1

Quilt 3

Quilt 2

It is, certainly, a beginner’s quilt.  It’s a crib-sized lap quilt, simple in design, machine-pieced, backed with flannel, and turned instead of bound.  But it is hand-quilted (I traced dinner and dessert plates!), and there is now another confirmed quilter in my family.  I hope it will keep lots of laps just a little bit cozier in years to come.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenny permalink
    February 17, 2012 6:53 pm

    You did such a nice job. I started my first quilted project a month ago, just a small table runner. I am having a hard time wanting to finish it.

    • Ashley permalink*
      February 21, 2012 10:36 am

      Thank you, Jenny! I think quilting is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing. I find it really addictive, but I can totally see how other folks could be less enamored. 🙂

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