Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finished !!

My mother's legacy to her middle grandson.. a Rail Fence quilt !

And it only took 28 years from start to finish.....
Back in early 1982, I took a refresher course so I could go back to work as a psych nurse. My dad had passed away the previous summer and my mother was sort of at a loss. I asked if she'd come visit us in Florida, and stay with my son while I was in school and my husband worked. My son was in kindergarten so would only need watching in the late afternoon. She rode by herself on the bus, her first long trip.. all the way from central Maine to west-central Florida. It was an adventure for my 65 year old mother, and she and my son really enjoyed themselves. Mum had taken a couple of quilting classes that previous fall at the local adult ed. in Maine, so she asked him if he'd like her to make him a quilt.
I took them to Cloth World in Tampa, and they picked out several green fabrics, as that was his favorite color.
This was before most folks knew anything about rotary cutters, and Mum made a template from sandpaper, and traced a few hundred shapes on the fabric with a pencil, then cut each one out by hand and hand stitched them together. She didn't really know how to hand quilt, but she gamely tried putting the quilt top together and it sat in a hoop in her house for many years, till we finally moved back to Maine in 1999. A couple of years later, I asked if I could take the quilt from her, because by then she had lost most of her vision from Macular Degeneration.. And I thought I'd easily quilt it myself. WRONG..
Cats and life got in my way, and eventually I took the quilt out of the frame and carefully washed the top and backing, and put a new batting inside. The seams were not all uniformly done, so I realized it would be best to machine quilt the top in order to keep the seams intact. I finally got it started in December 2009, and finished it last week !!
Woo hoo !
My husband delivered it to our son last weekend and he's thrilled to be able to use it.. and that he can put it in the washer on gentle if he needs to. The fabric is still quite strong, even tho some of the colors faded over the years. Mum passed away in 2006, and while DS and I were discussing that long ago trip to Florida, he remembered fondly the way he would surround his grandmother with stuffed animals from his collection, and she'd read him stories every night when he went to bed. It was a good time for both of us, and a fond recollection of my mother.


makeitsew07 said...

meant to add, I did a stitch in the ditch on my Bernina, and used a sort of modified serpentine stitch (I love that, because it isn't precise, but it looks cool.)
I quilted to the center from one edge, then turned it and quilted from the center to the other edge. It was very bulky! Would have been nice to use a long arm.. But the frame was in Maine and the quilt and I were in Massachusetts.
It's done!! Yippee !!

Butterfly said...

WHAT A GREAT STORY! What a great keepsake! LUV IT!

makeitsew07 said...

Thanks, Wilda! I wanted to write it all down before my Swiss cheese brain forgot it..
You've been pretty busy yourself, with the quilts and all ! I like that sunflower one :)

Erika's Chiquis said...

Its beautiful and I love the story behind which makes it even more precious.