Whatever it takes

We are working on a quilt with a history. I suppose that isn’t so surprising. Many quilts have history.  Do you remember that beautiful one made by an elderly quilter from Gee’s Bend?  It was pieced from her husband’s old work clothes.  She said every time she got under that quilt, she felt as though her husband was still with heIMG_2260r.

The quilt we are working on now came from Kentucky. The brother of a friend sent it to me. The women at the Historical Village think the fabrics are from the 1940s.  When it arrived in the mail, the top pieced with colored fabric and squares of plain muslin was stiff with age.  Bev carefully washed it and washed it, finally getting it to a point where it could be quilted. We found a large piece of muslin for the back. But how to quilt this slightly irregular beauty?  The pieced blocks are delicate and also aren’t exactly square. At the same time the colors and patterns are special enough we wanted to do more than simply tie it.

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So Cathryn in her wisdom pointed out that we could quilt the plain squares and tie the remainder.  What a perfect plan for this unique quilt! A pattern with small hearts was selected.  It is a bit slow as the fabric tends to hold the needle but we are getting there.  It might be finished by late spring.  It is one of those quilts that has a lot of character although who is to say how long it might last.  Still it will easily grace whatever bed it ends up on.  Hopefully the person sleeping under it will feel cared for.

Doing this quilt is a reminder how it is not always necessary to stick with the usual plan.  Sometimes a dilemma presents itself that requires creative thinking.  The solution doesn’t have to be !00% of this. It could be 81% of this and 12% of that and 7% of something else, still getting the job done well.  Somebody might have looked at this particular quilt top and thought it wasn’t worth saving for much of anything.  But as we quilt and tie it, the women remark on the fabrics and interesting piecing.  We figured out a solution and are making it work.  Yes indeed, it’s a beauty.

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About tvh56

I mostly live in Eureka, Montana and write two blogs. One is for the Tobacco Valley Board of History, a group composed of the most remarkable older women who quilt weekly to raise funds to maintain the Historical Village. I had to capture their stories with words and photos. And when I began a traveling bookstore as a small business, well, it only made sense to write about that too.

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