Linny t's Work of our Hands

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. " KJV

Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream

Last September, I was visiting my daughter in New York. One day, we went for a walk in downtown Troy, NY. The day was perfect! It was clear and cool, only warm in the sun. Natalie was with us, just one year old then. We had coffee and gormet pastry at an upscale coffee shop and then we wandered around from shop to shop.
Troy is an interesting town. It's in a valley on the Hudson River. It has a large Arts community and many of the downtown shops cater to both art lovers and artists. There were also many antique stores and resale stores. One in particular we visited was an antique/resale store and was done up all nostagically. I love the feeling you get in those kind of places. Everything you touch has a history and it's fun to try to imagine what the people were like who originally owned the merchandise. That's where I found the pieces to a quilt that someone had dreamed of making, but never did. They were triangles of fabric from the 40's - 60's, judging from the prints; probably remnents of clothing either made or worn, since hardly 2 had a twin. It was a real scrap piece find!

Later I was talking to my daughter about the pieces, thinking out loud about what a great quilt they'd make, looking at each piece and thinking the of person who made them, who probably hand drew a pattern on the back of a cereal box or something in a kitchen with "That Green" walls and traced each one onto any fabric big enough to receive it and then cut each one out with scissors...funny, we think this is quaint now days, don't we. We have rotary cutters to do the job and special rulers to make it easy.

At some point in our discussion, I learned that my daughter would love a quilt made from these pieces. Of course it would have to be for her! That day meant a lot to me...just walking around window shopping with her and the baby. I don't get many days like that period, much less with my beautiful daughter and grand daughter! So it was settled. It would be her quilt.

When I got home, I started playing with the pieces. "Now why didn't this person finish this quilt?", I wondered. I had a bonified mystery right there in my hands. Did this person just get boared with the idea? Did they have a house fire and this was one of the few things salvaged? Did they die?... or maybe one of their loved ones died and they just couldn't stand the thought of working with this fabric any more....There were probably a million possibilities, but I preferred to think on the romantic ones...Oh the poor dear....I won't let your precious work go to the heap~~~

There were'nt enough to make a very big quilt; just barely enough for large a wall hanging and all together they were quite busy. Then I decided to alternate them with muslin triangles. That's when I discovered the most likely reason why a quilt wasn't made from them. Although they looked like perfect Isosceles triangles, they were not. One side was a little shorter than the other. I had to make a template the shape of one of the triangles and use that trace each triangle onto the muslin. Although I could still cut them with a rotary cutter, The process still took awhile. I pieced them by machine and I remember thinking I was glad they were triangles. Not many of them were actually cut on the straight of grain. The extra bias was a help in getting everything to fit together. The muslin gave the pieces a stability as they were cut on the straight of grain. All in all it went together well, all in a long afternoon's sewing.

It occurred to me while stitching the binding down that perhaps the person who cut these triangles did make a quilt and had her more undesirable choices left over ( a couple of the triangles were pieced together; perfectly so, I might add)....hmmm....I have since decided to think they were never made into a quilt because of one of the reasons mentioned above...it's more interesting that way...more romantic and meaningful.

At any rate, here it is, not quite a year later. I think it's a handsome quilt. I've named it :Living Stones" from 1 Peter 2:5.  It is machine pieced and hand quilted


I had to wait to post this because my daughter wanted to see the quilt in person, not on the internet. I have to say that it was pretty wonderful being in her livingroom and seeing her face when she got it. This morning we had devotions on her pull out couch and all the kids were together on it. That's exactly what I had in mind when I thought of her using this quilt.

What a wonderful art-form quilting is!

Published Tue, Oct 27 2009 10:45 PM by Linny t

Comments

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Wednesday, October 28, 2009 12:11 AM

Oh Linty, it came out beautifully. I am sure your daughter will always treasure the day you found the pieces and the quilt you made her. Isn't finding things like this just wonderful? Really good job and someday your grand daughter can tell her children about the day her grandmother and mom found the pieces.

by Maria

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Wednesday, October 28, 2009 12:12 AM

Sorry about the mispelled name Linny.

by Maria

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:08 AM

Linny, what a wonderful story and what a treasure. When you think of the quilt and your daughter using it I'm sure it warms a mother's heart. The quilt is beautiful!!!

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Wednesday, October 28, 2009 11:46 AM

Thanks very much to both of you.

by Linny t

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Thursday, October 29, 2009 3:39 PM

Linny, that is a wonderful story! My mom liked to find quilt blocks that had never been made into the finished quilt. Like you, I'm sure she envisioned a story about the reason the blocks were still just blocks. I never asked, though, because I wasn't into quilting at that time. I have one of the finished quilts she made. I should get it out. I also have some blocks she bought that she never got to finish making into a quilt. I think once I get the quilts finished for my friend the Cancer Society, I'll do that one next. I love your finished piece!

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Thursday, October 29, 2009 5:12 PM

Linny, You're story brought tears of joy to my eyes. The expression in the details was quite overwhelming. What a beautiful tribute your quilt has made, not only to your daughter and grandaughter, but the original owner of the fabrics and to God. Many blessings to you and your family and thank you for sharing your story in such an eloquent form. Wonderfully executed story and beautiful quilt! Thank you for sharing.

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Friday, October 30, 2009 10:51 AM

Thanks, Judy.  My Mom didn't quilt, but she crocheted.  She made table cloths and doilies.  I have her last pieces made and I love to touch them and think of her hands working on them.  I want to work them into a quilt sometime soon.  She's gone now, so handling those pieces is still an emotional thing for me.  I want to make a kind of tribute to the work of her hands.  

Quilting is so much more than...well, just quilting.  It's a true expression of ourselves and in the process it is impossible to not get our lives and memories woven into it.

by Linny t

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Friday, October 30, 2009 10:53 AM

Thanks, Stephanie.  It thrills me that my story moved you.  God bless you and yours as well!

by Linny t

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Friday, October 30, 2009 6:32 PM

Linny--

Beautiful quilt, heart-warming story.  Quilting is indeed "a true expression of ourselves"  Thank you for sharing with us a little piece of yourself in this extraordinary treasure you've created for your daughter's family

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Saturday, December 12, 2009 8:53 AM

It was just now I checked your blog.  I have only recently discovered them.  What a beautiful story for a beautiful quilt.  You have the eyes and heart that such for beauty.  You will find it again.

by Patti

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:42 AM

What a beautiful story and quilt. Make me want to go out looking for left behind pieces and blocks.

by Brandi

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:08 PM

Linny you did a wonderful job on this quilt. The story behind it is amazing. thanks for sharing.

by Kris

# re: Living Stones-Piecing Someone Else's Dream@ Friday, July 22, 2011 9:45 AM

Linny,

What a wonderful story and quilt?  It will make such a rich family story for your granddaughter to hear and later tell to her daughter.

Robin

by Robin