aunt jeanie’s quilt
Over Christmas break, my mom and I did a major fabric purge in our basement. We found all sorts of treasures: half-pinned t-shirts, pajama pants missing a final hem, and disastrous fabrics that had been hiding in the bottoms of bins since the late ’80s.
We cleared out pounds upon pounds of fabric (is that embarrassing? maybe.) but we also found a number of should-have-beens that are now back on the project list. The old-but-new project I decided to tackle first was this quilt.
I found all the squares in a wrinkled Ziploc. Some had been sewn together, most were alone. It seemed to be a scrap quilt: some of the fabrics contributed twenty patches, and a few only contributed one or two. I assumed I had picked up the bag at one of the rummage sales I love so much… even though I couldn’t remember doing it, it didn’t seem unlikely because I know how excited I get in those “fill a bag for a dollar” moments!
I started by stitching the squares into sets of three so they’d be easy to arrange. I lined them up as best I could and ran them all through the sewing machine, then under the iron.
Finally, I laid them all out on the living room floor, meticulously rearranging for the most appealing layout. Mama walked by and said, “oh, I recognize that fabric! we used to have that!” And as she got closer, she recognized more and more.
Aunt Jeanie used to make purses from that one!
Oh, I think I had a skirt from that one… it was “lovely”.
Finally, the mystery was solved as more and more of the patterns became familiar to my mama’s eyes. These pieces were all part of Aunt Jeanie’s quilt, a scrap quilt lovingly cut from spare squares.
Now, at least 20 years later, I’m stitching them all into their rightful places. The quilt top is finished, so now I’m on the lookout for a perfect backing. Then I’ll snuggle up underneath the scraps from my family’s creations, and have sweet seamstressly dreams.