I've always loved quilts.
I remember my two grandmas...my grandmother & great-grandmother, who lived next door to each other...would sit behind the quilting frame that was set up in my Grandma Fulkerson's guest bedroom. They would quietly sit for hours, stitching away, softly talking to each other, bringing the pieces of fabric together, making a beautiful blanket for someones bedroom. Oh, they did not stitch the fancy patterns that we have today. Theirs were quilts of left over fabrics from some sewing project, or pieces of worn out or outgrown dresses that had been tossed aside. Their quilts were pieces of family history...pieces of garments worn by their daughters & granddaughters...pieces that they weren't quite willing to toss out.
As a young married lady, I became fascinated with quilting when the craze hit the 1980's. It seemed that we all wanted the look of yesterday in our homes. During that time, much of my decorating centered around quilting patterns. I kept it around for a long time, and as I went around this morning snapping pictures of my quilts, I realized that quilts are still a part of my life. And no doubt always will be.
Somehow I also ended up with this quilt top that still needed to be quilted.One time my Mom was here & I told her..."I have this old quilt top that isn't very pretty & it needs to be put together..." She took one look at it & told me..."I did that! So...You don't think it's very pretty?" Was I ever embarrassed!
Now that I know she is the one that pieced it together & I've studied the fabrics, I've learned to love the quilt! It may not be beautiful...but it is a work of art & pieces of our past.
Close up of fabric in Mom's "Pin Wheel" quilt...Notice the 3 bad eggs in the skillet! (fabric from feed sacks)
Quilting looked so easy to me. I've always loved to cut with scissors so tracing & cutting the quilt pieces was no problem . And I used to do quite a bit of sewing. But when it came to quilting, I just couldn't seem to get it right. My quilting needle seemed too short and my stitches didn't look like Mom's. While Mom was visiting one winter and we were doing our crafty projects, Mom told me that my stitches were too big! And that was the end of my quilting phase. I put my quilting needle away & went back to what I excelled at...cross stitch!
A wall hanging in our entry way..
Cross stitch was easier for me. There was a grid where I could make the exact stitch, without worrying about it being too short or too long. For a lot of years I stitched & stitched, spending many spare moments and hours making my cross stitch designs. I loved the way I could take a blank piece of fabric, and just by following a pattern, end up with a beautiful picture.
I spent about a year stitching a bridal pattern for Karen. And then I put my cross stitch away. Oh, since then I've started a few projects, but can no longer see to make the small stitches I used to love to do. But during those years of stitching, the hours I spent were not wasted. I loved what I was doing.
Someday when my children have to go through the closets of my home, and they find those quilts made many years ago, and the framed pieces of cross stitch, maybe they will remember it was loving hands that made those stitches in time...