Monday, February 15, 2016

Quilting Someone Else's Family Treasure

I am not a quilter. This long post will be the only quilting post I do this year. Possibly ever, but I hate to be so self-limiting.
This is not my quilt.
This isn't even a quilt top from anyone I'm related to.

Not quite squares, 7 by 6. A mathematically pleasant rectangle.

It is going to be a wall hanging for my friend Michelle's therapy office. It's bright and aimless enough to be soothing without being distracting. And it's definitely homemade.

Yes, those are airships. Yes, I love them. This is from 1977.

I've only made one quilt. Because I only needed one, to go to college with.
I used a sheet set that lent itself to the theme, and machine appliqued the shapes.

This was done by my dad's mom. Yes, they lived in Wyoming. Yes, that says "Round Up Time"

Bless the cowgirl, she's not riding sidesaddle

All the kids were blonds

But what the devil is J.E.F. Ranch? Those initials don't match anyone.

It wouldn't be a family heirloom for 1930s white Wyoming people without some racial stereotypes. No offense meant, that's just what they did.

My father said he never met a Native American until he moved to Seattle and met our neighbors, who were Navaho and Cherokee, and introduced us to the local fight for tribal fishing rights. He did not use the term "Native American" at that point,  but he soon would. I have my doubts about the truth of that statement, but he was a city boy in a very white world of 1930s Wyoming. 

Is this where I say that my grandfather was a labor lawyer, and not a rancher? And that all the kids went to college? In the 30s and 40s? In Wyoming. Even the girls? And graduated? 

This quilt is made out of "Auntie" Jeanette's dad's ties.

She's the auntie of my friend Michelle, and she lived and sewed and sent me fabric from North Carolina, back when it was the textile capitol of this country. I never met her, but I heard plenty about her from Michelle. And I heard about this quilt top.

And over Christmas, it came to me.

Yes, she did a hand feather stitch in embroidery floss around all the pieces after they were machine stitched together (stitched to a white cotton square). And machine stitched the resulting squares and feather stitched over those seams.

This is the backing material. It will get edged with dark green velvet from someone's curtains. A shade lighter than Scarlett/Bob Mackie's curtain dress.

Yes, I love the Clover needle threader and we're engaged to be married. Bpfffffff!
There's going to be a lot of handstitching this to another sheet, then hemming that to the backing and the edging (making long pockets for rods on the sides).
I got two long fabric tubes from my pals at Pacific Fabrics (if you spend that much money somewhere, it does pay off in favors) to roll the quilt up on.

The idea being that I can put the rolls on the arms of the skaterondack and work in that flat gap inbetween.

Or that's the plan for the Skaterondack chair

And as soon as I get that part of the house dug out again, I will.

1 comment:

  1. I love the sweet blond cowchildren. What a very special heirloom to share with us. I've not see anything like it.

    I like those very colourful ties. I wonder how far back they go.


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