Settle back for a cuppa as I have a few threads of a story to weave together. Mid Year Eve (my daughter) purchased her first sewing machine and became interested in quilting. She rang me up asking if I had any quilters cottons. I felt a failure as Mum, when I said I didn’t really as all my fabrics are suitable for crazy quilting. Out of all my bits I could only scavenge a hand full of cottons which were posted to New Zealand for her use.
Unlike many crazy quilters who discover this form of quilting via quilting, I came to crazy quilting via embroidery. It was the surface embellishment of these textiles that attracted me. I had made a few regular quilts but did not see myself as a quilter. So as I built my stash it was of fancy fabrics not quilters cottons. Anyway this year Eve went on to make a scrap quilt from recycled clothes scavenged in thrift shops.
Eve is home for Christmas and the sewing machine has been on the dining room table for the past two weeks as clothes and costumes are being made and there has been lots of talk about quilting! In our conversation I told her how I have been hoarding a snip of fabric approximately a 3 to 4 inch square, off garments for 28 years. These have been hoarded with the thought of eventually making a real charm quilt. I have scraps from my clothing, Eves clothes, I have clothing scraps from my mother, my grandmother, sisters and even some of Jerry’s shirts. My step mother is a dress maker and I have scraps from her and friends have often given me scraps that I have kept as little memento of them.
I have had these 3 inch scraps gathering for years. Last week I showed them to Eve and started to tell the stories behind the fabric. I have a scrap of the dress I was wearing when I met Jerry, of the blouse I wore on our first date, of maternity dresses, of the nightdress I wore in hospital when I had Eve, of her toddlers clothing as a child as at the time I made her clothes and in the hot West Australian summers she had horrid heat rashes if I dressed in anything other than cotton, of her first real party frock, and the dress she wore on her first day at school, of her graduation dress and so it goes on. As the stories built I realised that our whole family history was tangled up in these little bits of fabric, stories of friends and even sewing projects like library book bags, and scraps from gifts. They are not all cotton but they can be used in a ‘real’ scrap charm quilt. Eve became very enthused that I start on this charm quilt.
Some readers may be aware Australia had a federal election yesterday and today we have a new Prime Minister. Last night I was doing something I very rarely do. I was watching TV. I watched the coverage from the National Tally Room as the votes were counted. I thought if I was going to make this I may as well tie the start of this project to an historical event. It adds to the story of the quilt and makes it easier to remember when it was started. Above are the pieces I worked last night. I should have worked on red squares rather than blue as I am happy with the result but these were what I had to hand.
I have chosen a very traditional pattern and will be stitching by hand. The image above gives you some idea of the size of each piece. They are small. The piece of fabric you see is also from the dress I was wearing when I met Jerry. I hope to have every fabric different and it is not all quilters cottons, as that is my story.
I am not making it for Eve but I know when I am no longer here she will value it. So a new era for Australia and new project started for me. Lets hope its done by the next election!