this is a jewel of a quilt. hundreds of random and intricate tiny pieces of fabric all engaging into one lovely piece. like a crooked smile. there is no pattern or precision, it just weaves it's own magical tale. there is a glow of warmth and happiness that eminates from this quilt. it is all cotton with cotton fill and a neutral beige cotton back. the quilting stitches meander along with the other lines. it measures 78 inches by 92 inches. it will fit a queen size bed. i've photographed it on a double bed and it hangs almost to the floor. it would work perfectly as a bed covering, or at the foot of a bed as a beautiful eye-catching detail in a bedroom. or as a table covering. or on the back of the sofa ready to curl under. it would be beautiful to spread on the cool grass on a summer night as you watch the stars overhead.
i call this series of quilts, my 'farmhouse' quilts. They blend a grandmother’s ideals with a fresh youthful flair; there is nostalgia for seasons past combined with hopefulness for a bright, full future. I use cotton exclusively. Cotton is strong and as it ages, it grows softer and sweeter. The fabrics are all new and have been washed before I use them. The cotton fill adds weight and warmth.
Certain fabrics create a warm and inviting feeling. I choose timeless motifs that could have lived many lives. Each square is a part of the tale. Fabrics that can represent the idea of summers spent at the lake; breezes moving the curtains of a lakeside cabin, the gingham of a picnic tablecloth, a favorite plaid shirt or flowered skirt. With these fabrics you can taste the dripping popsicles and smell the summer nights, hazy and bright with lightning bugs.
When summer breezes become a distant memory, thick warm fabrics are what we crave. The softness of flannel pajamas next to the skin is safe and soothing. And the slight scratch of a wool sweater is warming and familiar. The smells and sounds of a stoked fire and the sweetness of hot chocolate seem close when wrapped in an heirloom quilt.
The combination of fabrics evokes other stories too. While I sew I often think of a busy farm in the 1930s where nothing was thrown away if it could possibly be used. The patches of fabric I sew could be from a housedress or an apron or children’s school clothes that have outlasted the entire growing family. Or the sheets that were worn thin in the center, but were perfectly fine along the edges. The fabrics and ideas blend to create a mélange that represents the simple qualities that made life difficult, but precious.
Enjoy your quilt. You may find a seam that meanders or a corner that is slightly askew. This is proof that it is made by hand. Machine wash it in cold water as often as necessary. Tumble drying is fine, but drying your blanket in the sun and breeze will give it the best scent imaginable. It was made to live with you and to be loved. If your quilt gets torn or stained, mend the tear and consider the stain part of its patina. I hope you love your quilt and make wonderful memories with it!
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