Time to re-group. Its already 2 days into December. This year is rushing by. November has ended and I didn’t complete my personal challenge to make art everyday. I made a good attempt until Thanksgiving rolled on through.
The one project that had me busy until the last minute last Wednesday was the Dresden plate quilt I finished. I hinted at it during the month and now that it is in the hands of it new owner I can talk about it. The spies can no longer ruin my surprise.
My grandmother’s half-sister Dorothy, passed away 2 years ago, the last of her generation. Dorothy held on to things which were then passed to my sister. My mother’s family was talented in quilting, sewing, crocheting, and cooking. In Aunt Dorothy’s collection of things were several bundles of quilt blocks that my Grandmother appliqued. With my interests, my sister decided to pass the blocks on to me.
One set of blocks was a Dresden plate pattern. 24 identical and perfectly hand appliqued blocks. The fabric in the blocks came from the 1930′s. My grandmother gave up quilting by the mid-1970′s, so the blocks were significantly “vintage.”
When I first brought the blocks home, a friend of mine, who loves antique quilts, fell in love with them and their feedsack fabrics. She wanted to work with them. On a shopping trip to MaryJo’s Clothworld in Gastonia, NC, we searched and found the perfect fabric that would be traditional for the pretty little blocks. My friend took the fabric and blocks home, to piece them together with mint green sashing and butter yellow corner stones. She finished the quilt top around 2005.
The blocks, now as a quilt top, returned to me and sat in “the” closet, until last month. I often make things and they need to sit, like fine whiskey. Eventually, a thought tells me who this creation belongs to. This quilt belonged in the family and to someone who probably was missing her mother and siblings…my mother’s sister, the only surviving child of my grandmother.
When my aunt invited us to Thanksgiving dinner with her, I knew I had to finish this quilt for the “Big Bird Day” I spent several days machine quilting the layers of fabric and hand sewing on the binding. It has been quite a while since I finished a “life-sized” quilt. It felt good.
It also felt good that I could pass this on. I have many UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in my studio and its true that my grandmother did too. Its nice to know that I completed something she started so many years ago. It has a new life outside “the” closet and hopefully will be enjoyed for many years.
So at Thanksgiving this year, I am thankful that I have a good family. I am thankful I was raised to be a strong, wise, and independent woman. I am thankful that I was blessed with talents and abilities that give me joy and comfort and the fortitude to appreciate how lucky I really am. I hope that I am able to share my talents and bring smiles to those around me. To me, giving thanks is appreciating the non-tangible things in our lives, the blessing and gifts we receive every day and often ignore.