Sew Many Memories

When I was a teenager, my Grandma started up a new hobby.  She decided to start quilting.  She made all of the grandkids a quilt for Christmas one year.  I remember that Christmas like it was yesterday.  You should have seen the tree!!  Huge bags were under it…filled with quilts. Each one was made with our favorite colors.  Mine was blue with small touches of pink.  My brother’s had sailboats on his.  I still have that quilt and it stayed on the bed until my grandma made us a new one…for our wedding.

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Throughout the years, she has made me four quilts to go on my bed, one quilt for my daughter when she gets a big bed, two for my son, both of my kids nursery bedding and numerous throws (mini quilts).  If you ever come to my house and are cold, I’ve got you covered…literally!!

The quilts she makes are works of art.  We keep telling Grandma, “You should sell these!!”  We go to arts & crafts fairs and see the quilts that people are selling & hers are always better (of course!!).  She just smiles and says things like “No one would pay what I would ask or what they’re worth”.  I didn’t understand what she meant when she said that…until now.

I think Grandma has always wanted one of us to take up quilting.  No one has yet.  We all have our reasons…we’re busy with work or kids.  But, thanks to Pinterest, I decided to try my hand at my first quilt.  I thought it would be a fun project to make for Sophie’s 3rd birthday.  It’s a simple one.  No tiny pieces to cut out…no intricate patterns…and no fancy quilting…I didn’t even bind the edges!!  Here’s the link to the tutorial:

http://www.imperfecthomemaking.com/2012/01/easy-thrifty-pretty-rag-quilt-tutorial.html

The woman who wrote the tutorial made the quilt for her daughter for Christmas.  She had already cut out the squares and literally put the quilt together on Christmas Eve.  After doing the quilt, I see how it could, might be done, but she must have had one really late night!!

In the tutorial, she uses cotton fabric, which obviously works for her.  She also puts batting the middle.  I read the comments and saw that some people were using flannel instead of cotton & also using it as the middle piece.  Perfect!!  The less types of material I have to get, the better.

So, I went to Wal-Mart and prayed they had flannel. They did!!  I used a solid pink flannel for the back, a solid purple for the middle & different prints for the top.  I got all of their pink AND purple flannel.  Grandma seemed impressed & said “You emptied two bolts?”  I’m guessing that’s a quilters badge of honor??  I got home and started cutting…and cutting…and cutting…

ImageYou are looking at over 400 squares of 7 inch fabric, which represents hours of my life.

ImageThen, I assembled the squares.  Top, middle, bottom.  Top, middle, bottom.  Top middle…well, you get the picture.  Then, I sewed a big “X” across each square.  I then made a 6 1/2 template to square up each section to where they were somewhat perfectly even.  This involved more cutting…

ImageAssembly time!!  My favorite part!  This is my first row that I sewed together.  I made 12 of them…yep…12.

ImageI had some pieces leftover, so made this baby doll blanket.  It literally took my 1 hour (I timed myself) from start to finish (excluding the time it would have taken to cut the squares out).  You’re looking at it after I washed & dried it.

ImageThis is the finished product!!!  Fresh out of the dryer at about 12:30 a.m.!!!  I was super excited to post this!!!  A couple of tips that I picked up from Grandma…After you snip all of those seams, take it outside & shake the fire out of it to get the loose threads out.  After I washed it, I took it out again & shook it…with the help of my hubby…it was not only huge, it was wet!!  Then, I kept checking the dryer lint trap about every 10-15 minutes & emptied it out.  It will shed a lot the first few washes.  I only washed mine once because, well, it was 12:30 & Grandma said that one wash would work for the flannel!

ImageHere’s a close up of the quilt.  Throughout the years, as we wash it, those seams should just keep getting fuzzier and fuzzier.  

As I was going through this process, I kept thinking of my Grandma and my husband’s Grandma.  Maw Maw (his Grandma), passed away about 4 years ago.  She was the sweetest lady who loved everyone!  Just thinking about her now puts a smile on my face.  When they were going through her things, my mother-in-law gave me Maw Maw’s sewing machine.  It will turn 50 years old next year & it must have been the top of the line machine in it’s day.  It is really, really, really heavy…it’s metal & works like a dream.  

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To me, this quilt has so much meaning on so many levels.  First of all, it’s a project…a labor of love from mother to daughter.  I’m also carrying on a tradition that was, in a way, handed down from my grandmother and the quilt was made on a machine that was once used by my husband’s grandmother.  For me, this is much more than a quilt, or a fun project that I found on Pinterest.  It’s a legacy.  And I can’t wait to give it to Sophie.

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4 thoughts on “Sew Many Memories

  1. It turned out very cute! Sure does take a lot of pressure off me if you take up the quilting “torch” and run with it!!! Love you!

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