Monday, July 25, 2011

Memories of Friendship Quilt

It's finished! And it's not called "The Beast" - but it is called "Memories of Friendship"
I wrote the following note to accompany it as it travels to a friend who is making a presentation on modern quilting and using it (among many others) as a prop.

Memories of Friendship
I made this quilt in stages.
This quilt started as one square with some old fabric and some new friends. We had gathered together to learn how to quilt. The old fabric was part of my eclectic and bizarre stash that I have after years of sewing clothes and collecting vintage fabrics from various elderly friends and family members. Each piece has a memory attached of who gave it to me, where I got it or the mystery of not knowing its history.
I often have a "game" I play where I love to hide what I consider "ugly" fabrics into my work. The idea that this discarded and unwanted fabric could be part of something beautiful means a lot to me on many levels. (I  live in a very old house, with lots of vintage patchwork  quilts, artwork on the walls, a creative family, a rescued dog and a foster baby we're trying to adopt. I love seeing beauty in the unexpected) I almost never quilt with a line of fabric, I like the unexpected, and the sense that no one could possibly make this same quilt.
 My new friends and I made wonky squares. I loved my first one and I used up many precious scraps to get the 5 complementary squares. 6 was all I could get. At one point they were even sewn together as a potential table runner.
Then they were ripped apart and stacked for months.

I got the idea to take them into my favorite new quilt shop (Sew Modern), and to pick the brains of the creative and fun friends who work there for ideas. Could we come up with a way to highlight these old fabrics with such a complex color scheme in a way that was fresh?
I'd come in with the idea of two stacks of squares and an off center spread of fabric between. They helped present some awesome and eclectic combos for fabrics, and suggested the wobbly placement.
I went home and pieced the rest by sight. If it needed orange over there, I'd cut and add it in... It was all done in the moment, responding to the overall feeling.
I quilted it with straight line quilting, something I've had little experience with before, but really enjoyed.
As I was basting and quilting this, it occurred to me how many precious friends and memories were represented by this quilt. Each fabric sliver reminds me of someone beautiful that I know. And to me that's what this quilt is all about. My  new friends, my old friends. My silver friends and my gold friends.

 (here's the back of the quilt)

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