Thursday, December 6, 2007
A Memory Quilt
Sometimes the antique quilts in my collection are the jumping off point for new work, as is the case with the pair in the photo. The quilt at top is an antique and the smaller one on the floor a recent work. The original quilt, a Log Cabin pattern in the Courthouse Steps variation c.1920, was an ebay buy from Georgia. Everything in that quilt, except one tiny flowered patch, was a plaid, check, or solid. It struck me as being masculine with all those shirtings. I wondered if maybe the posy print was a subtle message from the quiltmaker, as in, "See, look, here's a reminder that I made this for you-"
Memories are wonderful but sometimes painful emotions. I have good memories of my father-in-law Peter Magyar who died June, 2003. Pete usually wore plaid shirts and occasionally plaid pants too. I asked my husband to bring back from Michigan some of his dad's plaid shirts so Rod returned from that sad occasion toting a large bag of Pete's shirts and I knew some day I'd use them in a quilt.
The smaller quilt is Pete's Plaids in honor of Peter Magyar. I cut some of his old plaid shirts into bias strips and pieced them over paper foundations so the fabric wouldn't shift. My friend Fran Lindley also helped in the assembly of this quilt. The sunflower fabric had been in my stash for ages but somehow, it worked with all those funky plaids. If you're contemplating a memory quilt, do it now. It doesn't need to be complex or totally planned out--just start. Choose a simple pattern and get going. One of the things I'm discovering is that time will not wait until our creative quilt plan is all in place. I think John Lennon said, " Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." So, just quilt it.
written by Pepper Cory