Christmas Wool Quilt
Valentine Stitchery

A quilt story

In seventh grade we had to pick a topic in American history that we would have to write a research paper about.  There was a long list of possible topics to choose from, and there could be no duplicates.  I immediately picked the topic of quilting, and was on edge as other students were picking there topics as to whether someone else would also want to do the same topic.  This began my love affair with quilts.  I had always enjoyed embroidery at this point, and also did quite a bit of stamped cross-stitch and plastic canvas projects.  But with quilting, I just loved the fabric and the colors, and when you looked at a quilt, you could become lost in it.  I knew that I wanted to make one, and I wanted to desperately.  I eventually was able to buy some pre-cut squares at Ben Franklin Crafts (The store eventually became Michael's.) to start sewing together by hand.  It was the nineties, and the squares were all different colored calicos.  Sewing them was addicting, and I had no idea what I was doing!  I eventually finished a quilt top with uneven seams, poor color distribution, and a really odd rectangular shape. :)  I was so proud that I had finished it, but had no idea what to do after that.  I'm not sure what happened to that quilt top.  I think it was put away somewhere in an attic or something, and never appeared again.  I've often thought about those squares and all the time I spent on it, and all the daydreaming I did as I sewed along.   

I was at a long-arm quilting business today to quilt a top.  They had a donation area where a woman's stash had been donated.  For a monetary donation that went to a charity, you could "shop the stash".  My eyes went immediately to a bag of random pre-cut squares.  When I looked closer, they were like the nineties calicos I had before.  When I saw them, my mind immediately went back to that first quilt, and I knew that I would like to purchase them.  On my drive home with the quilt squares, I thought that I'd like to reproduce that same project.  A lot has happened in the last couple of months that has been just really hard- particularly my childhood home being sold and my parents moving across the country.  The squares reminded me of the house that I lived in well into adulthood, and also of our summer house on Cape Cod.  I think that it will be therapeutic to hand stitch this calico quilt again.  I am excited to see where this project takes me- I don't think that I will hand quilt it, but you never know!  I'm going to work on it as part of a morning routine where I sew a few squares a day.  I want to set up the project so that it is easily accessible and so that I can just pick it up and begin.  I'm excited to start!  I counted, and have 300 pre-cut squares.  The quilt will be 20 rows of 15 squares.  I'll keep posting progress updates as I go along.  


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