Saturday, July 19, 2014

The 1991**Didn't know what I was doing* quilt

In 1991, I was in my late 20's and was making quilts.  I have learned a lot since then, but I want to share this quilt with you:

This quilt makes me happy and it makes me sad. 


When my grandmother died, my grandfather gave me a box of fabric scraps that  had belonged to her.  She was a quilter, too.  I made this quilt for my daughter.... she was 4 years old... and I dreamed of the day that she would grow up and it would become a part of her home.

You see, I did not even know how to make the blanket stitch for appliqueing the pieces.  But I thought I had taught myself.  I whipped these little sunbonnet sue girls up in no time.

I embroidered some of my favorite Bible verses on each dress, thinking that one day my daughter would look up these verses, to see what  scripture had spoken to her mother.
 I hand quilted this quilt on a wooden frame, that sat in the living room until the quilt was finished.  My children played underneath the frame while I quilted away.  I look at my quilting stitches now and am amazed that I had such small neat stitches 'back in the day'.  My stitches no longer look that nice.

When I finished quilting the quilt and turned the edges over for binding (I did not know how to make binding  or how to  bind a quilt in 1991) I promptly washed the quilt. 
To my horror, when I pulled it out of the washer, all of my blanket stitches that I used to hold the sun bonnet girls on with, had shifted.... pulled away and were distorted. It's a wonder there were any Sue's hanging on at all!

So, it was at that moment, that I decided my little girl could not 'use' the quilt at all while she was a little girl, as I knew it would get dirty and not be able to withstand frequent washings.   I folded it away and put inside a plastic container and there it has sat for years!

My little girl is 27 years old now and has a house of her own.  I still have not parted with the quilt, because I know what will happen when she washes it.  

I've been thinking of putting the quilt on my sewing machine and machine stitching the Sunbonnet Sues in place and calling it ok.  I will then send it to my daughter and she can decide if she will display it, use it, or keep it in plastic its entire life. 

Any suggestions?  Man! I wish I could still quilt like that!

10 comments:

Debby@Just Breathe said...

The quilt is adorable. I can't believe you haven't given to your daughter yet! I would hope that she would display it.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

With such a hidden treasure from your heart in this quilt I would unpick the blanket stitches and redo them....it won't take long, you will be happier, the Sues will be secure and this precious quilt can begin life. xxx

Linda Shields said...

The quilt is precious! I would free-motion quilt around the edges of the sunbonnet Sue's, or just hand stitch with a hidden stitch. Your daughter will love it. So much love went into it. We all have our "learning" quilts in the closet--to precious to part with except to special people.

ancient one said...

I remember this quilt and the time you made it. I have no advice to give you on quilting. I know it was made with love!!

Val said...

Well I just love the story as much as the quilt. What a treasure. The memory and the quilt. Beautiful.

Debbie J said...

I think this quilt is perfect, priceless and wonderful! You did a great job and I know your April will treasure it. Just think how good you did with no internet to learn from!!! LOL

Nancy Jo said...


Hi PEN, Pen,
Well first of all I think you did a really good job. I wouldn't know how to do that. Next it should never be kept hidden away. It should OUT. If you had an old cradle it could go in there, over the back of a rocking chair in a bedroom or sewing room. If April really wants it now give it to her, if she doesn't seem ready keep it a few more years. And that's all I have to say about that.
Nancy Jo

Debbie Huffaker said...

It's beautiful!!! I think you should go ahead and give it to her. I love the idea of the verses of scripture on each of the little "dolls". I have one that my grandmother made for me and I had it quilted a few years ago. The lady who did the quilting was not nearly as good as you were!

sunny said...

How did I miss this post! It's a very special quilt, and should be treasured by your daughter. I think it's time for her to have it.

Janet, said...

It's been a while since I visited your blog. I saw this post and had to comment. I think it is beautiful, I would definitely give it to her. She could display it on a quilt rack. I bought a handmade Sun Bonnet Sue quilt at a yard sale a few years ago. I love it! It was made by the woman's mother for her daughter. I couldn't believe she was selling it, but I scooped it up for very little money.