Friday, October 3, 2008

The Quilt Files, Family Edition

I first started quilting about eight years ago, after having seen my (maternal) grandma do it for the past twenty or so. It seemed only natural to try it myself; I like to sew, and making a quilt means I get to play with color and patterns that I would never be able to wear myself. (Even better, I don't have to worry about fit, or put in any zippers!) So my grandma helped me get started; after a couple years, my mom joined in as well. She just got too jealous of all the pretty fabrics we were working with, and started quilting as an excuse to buy some of her own.

So a few weeks ago my mom called and asked if I wanted to display a quilt at the Ypsilanti Historical Society's annual quilt show, along with her and Grandma. I thought, why not? She said they would submit their first quilts, and my first quilt was almost finished ... so I buckled down, finished the hand quilting on that sucker in time for the show, and voila! Our entries look like this:

Grandma's "Star Spin" pattern is featured on the table in the middle; she finished this first quilt around 1988, after she'd been retired from teaching for a few years. She has since made quilts for each of her 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; I inherited the Star Spin, since I got married before she began quilting. My mom's quilt is the one to the left, with the dark blue borders. It's a fairly simple pattern, just squares and posts, but you can tell she has an eye for color. Mine is the log cabin pattern on on the right with the turquoise borders. Log Cabin is also quite easy to do, although you can arrange the squares in many different ways to make interesting patterns. It was the first quilt project I ever started, but the most recent I've finished, due to the hand quilting taking so long. (Okay, due to me being lazy about the hand quilting.)

I'll get into the details of the Log Cabin in another episode of the Quilt Files, once it's back from the show and I can get more pictures of it. In the meantime, if you're ever in the Ypsilanti era, you can check out our quilts—plus dozens more, including some incredible handmade ones from the 19th century and some amazing machine quilting work—at the Ypsilanti Historical Society through October 12.

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