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!