Finished – Mom’s quilt blocks throw

Throw is done!

Going to keep this simple, but I may have to play with font color as I just figured out how to do that.  I swear this choice wasn’t available yesterday!

I have about 5 ideas of things to write about floating around in my head, and it’s hard to stay on track with this post.  This post is supposed to be devoted to this throw and it’s story, but I may go off on tangents.  I was informed, however, this past weekend, that it’s actually family trait!

Here’s a pic of the whole throw.  Mom did the blocks herself, mostly in 1991. She most always, I found in going through her quilting stuff, would mark in pencil or pen on one of the back seams the date she finished the piece. 

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I picked out sashing, border and pieced the blocks together and quilted it.

This is for mom’s cousin, Karen, according to my teenage daughter, she would be my 1st cousin once removed. I know that’s not important, but I was impressed my daughter was quite sure of this even when I wasn’t, because she wanted to know what one of my cousin’s daughter was to her, so she looked it up on the internet!

So, I gave these blocks to Karen two years ago, as she liked them and I know her and Mom had a special connection over the years, especially the last few before Mom and Grandma died, because both her Mom and Grandma were in the same nursing home.  As a matter of fact, at one time, my Grandma and her two remaining brothers were in the same nursing home along with Karen’s mom.  So,  Karen would come to town once a month, and each time she did, her and Mom would meet up at the nursing home and then go out to eat quite often.

At the time I gave them to her, I wasn’t a savvy quilter, so she said she would find someone to complete them for her.  I didn’t have any of the other material to give her, as it seemed to have gotten separated from these blocks, so we had to go with the 12 we had.

After about 6 months or a year, I told her I felt more confident in my abilities to do justice to these blocks.  And, finally, about a month ago, she brought them back down for me to work on.

Anyway, the following three pics show some of the detail on the sashing.  I almost used pink for the sashing, but figured there was already enough in the blocks.   I was stumped as to what to quilt there until I remembered that Karen likes the saying “Live well, laugh often, love much.”

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Live Well

 

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Laugh Often

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Love Much

Every sashing piece has one of those saying in it, and each block has all three around it and one extra.

She seemed to be very pleased with it.  I’m glad she likes it.

Things I did on this throw – I put in small black permanent marker on the front of each block Mom’s initials and the date she finished it – if she had written on on the back.  I also quilted butterfly on one block, because Mom’s was very much into butterflies.  The style of free motion quilting is very much custom.  You would find it hard to reproduce this stitching on a long-arm.  Each block is quilted with stitch in every stinkin ditch, and then many have additional quilting.  On the signature block, the gold/white/gold block – I quilted on the white “Blocks pieced by (Mom’s name), Assembled and quilted by (me) Oct 2014.”  It’s a sort of trick that is hidden in the quilt that no one may ever notice – but it’s one way I “sign” some of my quilts, even if I put a tag on back, that I am confident will stick with the quilt as long as it endures.

Once I actually decided I was going to get this thing done, it took me less than a week.  And, I had to go to Joann’s for the green fabric because I didn’t have anything on hand that would match.  I’m not sure if the green is the best color, but since these are vintage fabrics, and the various colors in the blocks, I wasn’t sure what to use.  White didn’t seem right, and pink would have been too much.  I thought about dark blue, but I discounted it for some unsure reason.

So there you have this quilt story.  I don’t know why Mom did the blocks the way she did or where she picked up the fabric choices.  I’m sure she showed me her progress on this at some point, as she liked to carry some of her finished work around to show off.

Sometimes, I feel bad about that – I don’t remember her showing me things or what I commented or what she told me about the pieces.  As usual, I think I was rather uninterested.  You know how it is – family get together, lots going on, lots to do for dinner prep and such, all the latest stories – Mom’s trying to show something off and before you can say more than “Oh, that’s nice, I like that” a child has a crisis, the  cake is ready to come out of the oven, or the football team makes the big touchdown.

I don’t know if anyone else in my family feels this regret, but I know I do. Regrets, “I wish I had…”, we all have them, we all do it eventually.  One of mine is – “paid more attention and asked more questions when Mom was showing me some of her quilting work.”

I never realized it at the time I went through her things four years after her death and decided to finalize some of her works-in-progress (WIPs) – but, even though I don’t know the entire story or thought process behind her creations, at least now I have enough know-how to do a decent job of finishing her projects.  Somehow, even though I know it doesn’t make up for my “I wish I had”, at least now I can say, “I don’t know if I would have ever made anything like this ever myself.” and “I’m glad I can at least finish her project for another to enjoy so her work can still be appreciated and useful.”

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