Retire or Repair an Old Friend?
My mother taught me to sew when I was seven and we made many of our clothes during the subsequent years. Mom especially liked to make pajamas for us kids, while I enjoyed making the outfits I would be seen in. A few years ago I put together a lecture comparing some of my quilts with garments from my youth (yes! I still have many of them 😀 ). The lecture is called “Gone to the Dark Side” and you can find information about it at http://chrisquilts.net/blog/?p=4370
When I graduated from high school my parents gave me a brand new Sears Kenmore sewing machine.
I was thrilled! I decided my first project should be a quilt for my “hope chest”. I cut a 6″ square from cardboard and dug out all of the scraps from our sewing projects. There were cottons, denims, flannels, crepe d’chine, seersucker and even some wool! I traced around the cardboard on the wrong side of each scrap and cut out all the squares with a scissors. Once the squares were cut I laid them out in 9-patches (I didn’t know that’s what they were called then) and sewed them together.
I assembled these blocks into a top and it ended up being king sized. I couldn’t wait to use some of the fancy stitches on my machine (my mom’s old Singer didn’t have any of those), so I did a line of decorative stitching over the seams of all the blocks.
Once the top was finished I layered it with a sheet, and a sheet blanket for the filling, and sewed all the way around the outside – leaving an opening for turning; only to find out I’d layered it incorrectly (the sheet was on the inside). So I ripped it apart, sewed around, and turned once again. To finish I tied it with knots of 4 ply polyester yarn at the block corners. What a delight for the eyes!
Even though it’s pretty ugly (don’t you love oxymorons?), it’s kept Mike and me warm for 42 years!
But lately it’s showing it’s age. Many of the fabrics are just plain disintegrating.
The green wool from a vest I made shrunk up years ago, but that didn’t keep me from tossing it into the washing machine many, many times.
Yet the fabrics are filled with memories. The pink denim with doves above was used in my favorite pair of hip hugger, bell bottom jeans (just picture that – it was the 70’s). In the following photo the brown floral was a sundress, the light blue flannel was a nightgown of mine, and the purple with flowers was from an apron I made for my German “mother” when I did a class trip to Germany my junior year.
So… do I retire it to the actual cedar chest Mike bought me as an engagement gift (at the foot of the bed)? or ???
While taking these pictures I realized the worn blocks are all around the outer edge. Perhaps I need to remove the last row of squares all the way around, add a binding and use it for another 42 years. What do you think?