I was out in Missouri just before Easter for a funeral and a few days of visiting with my sister. The guest bed mattress is a little firm for my taste, but I was snuggly warm under a quilt made nearly 50 years ago by my grandmother, Mae Prost.
It's a Sunbonnet Baby, with applique dresses and bonnets and embroidery 'trim.' My grandmother made a few of these, plus Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Boy quilts. But my all-time favorite quilt that she made was the "Trip Around the World."
She made two of these...this one started with red in the center and worked its way through the rainbow to end with purple (she would say 'violet') at the border. The other started with purple in the center and ended with red around the edge. As a little girl, I was fascinated with the print fabrics she selected in each color family, and how small the squares were. My cousin has this one; the other went to my Uncle Jay, who had it buried with him.
My mother loved to make clothing and didn't take up quilting until later in her sewing life. This tiny quilted wall hanging decorated her seashore-themed bathroom.
She made a shower curtain with sailboats and lighthouses on it, too. I have it hanging on the wall of my sewing room.
When my mom died, she left two partially finished quilts...one was called Cream and Sugar, and was a block of the month project made of cream and cafe-au-lait colored fabrics. I added borders to it, had it quilted and gave it to my nephew Chris, her oldest grandson. She had made quilts for all of the granddaughters and had told me that she ought to start on quilts for the boys. She didn't live long enough to make 10 (the number of grandsons she had), but at least this one got finished!
The second unfinished quilt was another block of the month project using 1930's inspired fabrics. She really had trouble with this particular block.
She was working on it while recuperating from a heart attack and I guess the medicine made her a bit loopy. She struggled with the quarter-square triangle blocks and cut them too small. Luckily, the quilt shop had more of the fabric, so I made a run to pick it up and helped her with the math.
After she died, my niece Melissa saw the blocks and really liked them. She asked me if she could have them so she and her mom could complete the quilt. I sketched out a 'modern' layout for the 12 blocks.
I don't know how much work Melissa did on the quilt, but my sister got it finished and sent to the long-arm quilter. I was hoping to finish the binding for it while I was in Missouri, but we couldn't find the piece of fabric she had set aside for the binding. She'll get to it eventually!
My sister loves to make baby quilts. Many of her friends and acquaintances have been the beneficiary of her enormous stash of fabrics. While I was visiting, I worked on the binding for this bright quilt, made of jelly roll strips and charm squares. (For those of you who don't know, jelly roll strips are pre-cut pieces of fabric 2 1/2" wide by 42" long. Charm squares are precut 5 1/2" squares.)
She had already finished another baby quilt (or wall hanging, I couldn't be sure) that I just loved!
It is made up of 'jars' of aquatic life -- fish, turtles, alligators, frogs and octopi (or octopusses, if you prefer Greek over Latin). Isn't it adorable?!
I bought a kit and fabrics to make a similar quilt, but instead of sea life, my 'jars' will be filled with different kinds of candy and snacks -- jelly beans, peanuts, licorice, and candy corn are just a few of the fabrics in the kit. My sister's quilt has me motivated to find my kit and get it started!
There's one more quilt I'd like to share today...this one was made by my mother's friends to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the American Sewing Guild. When the ASG started in 1978, my mother was among the first in the St. Louis area to join. During the ASG's silver anniversay year, her neighborhood group made a quilt for her, each person designing her own block. My sister, Carol, made the block in the center -- the black sewing machine bordered in red.
Her friends gave my mother this gift to acknowledge her years of service to ASG and her friendship to more than one generation of sewers.
It's funny how my mom, sister and I have 'fallen' into quilting, while my grandmother was known as a quilter. It's another artistic endeavor using the skills we learned as we began sewing clothing.
My daughter has a friend who is expecting her first child this fall...I think she'll be coming out to my house soon, to dig through my stash and design a special gift for a sweet new baby. And so the tradition gets passed along...