Saturday, July 23, 2011

from the studio: a "going away to college" quilt for Jane

Just wanted to do a show and tell with this here quilt top I put together today. (Yes, I cut out most of the pieces yesterday and got it all sewed up in one day. An intensive all day-er. I do things like this best when I can have big chunks of time to attack it all at once.) The cracked rib deal has me wanting to take things pretty low key. I thought sitting in the sewing chair would be the best thing to do with my time, especially as I'm getting kind of panicky that Jane will be packing up before I know it. With that huge transition comes a lot I have to do to get her ready. But that's another story for another day.

When I saw a sample of this quilt hanging in the quilting store, I fell in love. The color combination and carefree block arrangement were perfect, inspiring.  I had it in my heart for as long as I've been a mother to make each of the children a quilt when they leave home. I didn't do that with Gary, but I think there's still time.

I come from a heritage of quilters. My maternal grandmother, Grandma Fay, always had a quilt set up in her "carport" during the summer months. I remember lying in bed when I'd stay at her house and feel that comfortable security and home-love feeling, knowing she was out there. My mom was a quilter. I loved the quilts that were resourcefully made from scraps from the outfits she sewed for us (All 5 girls). They became tied to memories. I especially remember  the one we took camping or on picnics, as well the one I "borrowed" for my first time away from home bed.

There's the image of both Grandma Fay and Momo (my paternal Cajun grandmother) with my mom stitching away on my bridal bed quilt, fabric pulled tight on the old quilting frame filling the family room downstairs. I'll never forget when I meandered in, foot loose and fancy free, just a few days before my wedding day. Normal voice talk silenced when seeing me enter, and them all getting those serious looks on their faces, asking me if I had any questions about "marital relations". All I can say is, many interesting and eye opening conversations happen when you get a group of females together this way.  

This quilt is a bit smaller than a traditional twin size. It measures 57x75 inches and is meant to be a "coverlet" for the bedspread underneath. Jane and I think this would be perfect over a store bought solid chocolate quilt. My plan is to take this quilt top, batting, and backing to someone that does machine quilting and have them do some "stippling" over all to give it texture and that look I like. Then I'll bind it all and it will be ready. I'll make sure to show you when it's all done.

Completing this project leaves me satisfied, knowing that Jane can take a bit of home, a bit of me, my thoughts of her, her future life, and love, my love, made visible in each and every stitch.

Passing of tradition.


  1. emily- it is beautiful. i cannot believe you did all that so quickly. that would have taken me weeks. i was wondering how your rib was feeling. take it easy.

  2. Beautiful! Comforting! And inspiring!

  3. It's gorgeous! I have a neighbor that does a wonderful quilting job, let me know if you'd like her info.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your rib! The quilt is beautiful. I love purple and green together. Is Jane going far away to school? I can't imagine that transition is easy. :-)

  5. I love it! The colours are so nice!

  6. sweet! I love it! Thanks for sharing it and good luck to Jane.
    I made a quilt for Monica(my oldest who is now 13 now) when she was 1 or 2 years old. I finished it all except 2 sides of the binding. Then it went in a tote for all these years. I pulled it out the other day and said: I will finish it
    I undid every thing and separated to back so Derek's Aunt can machine quilt it for me. I so much agree that quilts are one of those things that give a sense of love and care for one another and it stays with you.