knows me knows I have a passion for quilting. It’s quite evident from
the moment you walk into my house. I think the small mountain of quilts
piled high on the corner quilt rack instantly tells volumes about me.
Carefully tucked away behind the kitchen table are bolts of fabric just waiting
for that perfect quilt to be made. It is commonplace to find my sewing
room floor littered with scraps of fabric. The dogs have gotten used
to it. Even my dear sweet husband doesn’t say a word about them.
You’ll find an unfinished quilt top hanging from my living room curtains.
Someday I’ll decide just what I’m going to do with it, but in the meantime,
I’m quite content to leave that scrappy nine-patch quilt top just where it
hangs. My friends have all grown accustomed to my quirky quilty habits.
Truth be known, most of them are quilters as well, so it is really no big
surprise to them to see five different quilts all in different stages of completion
tucked around in the corners of my house. You just never know when
the perfect mood will strike me to actually finish a project.
What you may not know
exists within me is also my love for vintage fabrics. A perfect day
for me is finding a fabric-filled trunk at an auction or a garage sale.
Call me hopelessly old fashioned if you will, but I think there is just something
very special and very magical about an old trunk filled with vintage fabric.
Let my iron get warm and I’m in seventh heaven for an hour as I carefully
take each little bundle apart and press each piece of fabric flat.
I’ve discovered you can
learn a great deal about a person just by pressing their scraps. You
can learn what colors were their favorites to work with. Finding various
soft pink fabrics with small prints tells me they were blessed with little
girl in their household. Bolder prints in shades of blue tell
me their home was filled with the boisterous sounds of little boys.
I’ve come to call my encounters with these special finds my fabric journeys.
I’ve found many an apron in various stages of completion. Usually, without
fail, I will find pieces of a quilt started years ago, and put lovingly away
for completion on another day. I find comfort in knowing that I am
no different than the quilters of yesteryear. Someday someone will
do exactly as I have done. They’ll go through my scraps and wonder about
me. As I press each piece, I can’t help but wonder how and why it came
to be put away and stored. Perhaps the fabric scraps found their
way to the box because the quilter didn’t have time to finish all the quilts
she had already created in her mind, or maybe it was just life getting in
the way. Sometimes we just don’t have the time or the energy it takes
to finish a quilt.
I’m hopelessly addicted
to these vintage fabrics. The allure of these hidden treasures just
waiting to be discovered is just something I can’t let slip out of my hands.
Like many quilters, as I press my fabrics, I sort them. There’s a box
for solids, a box for directionals, a box for florals, and my favorite box
of all, my box of vintage fabrics. Even the least appealing scrap of
fabric gets tucked away.
The other day, the old
familiar feeling of just sitting down and quilting just wouldn’t go away.
If you are a quilter, you know the feeling I’m talking about. It’s that
nagging little voice that torments you until you sit down, plug in the iron,
and turn on your sewing machine. That’s the easy part. Actually
deciding what you are going to do is the hard part. On this particular
day, I pulled out my vintage fabrics. My decision was to sit and create
a quilt for me, something I rarely do. I decided to make a quilt in
anticipation of the long winter ahead. The quilt would be just for
me for the times I sit curled up by the fireplace with a good book or an
old Gary Cooper movie.
Working with all fabric
scraps, the final pattern choice was a traditional scrappy Pioneer Braid quilt.
One by one the quilt rows were put together. I alternated using light
prints on one side and dark prints on the other. A couple of nights
later the center quilt panel was complete. I added simple borders and
prepared the top for quilting. I’m not a hand quilter by nature.
I have great admiration for those that do, but I’ve got too many quilts running
around my mind that I want to finish. I’m sure you know the saying,
“So many quilts. So little time.” I chose a simple small floral
print for the back and decided on cotton batting. My longarm
machine and I made short work of my latest quilt creation. A couple
of nights later, I put the final few binding stitches in my quilt, tossed
it in the washer, and waited patiently. What I really wanted to see
was the quilt as it came out of the dryer. My quilt did not let me
down. It has the crinkled look to it that I like. It looks old,
feels soft and cuddly and is just the perfect quilt for me! It is
Click here to see My Quilt.