This was my very first quilt, ever. I was and still am very proud of it. I made it in 1995 after purchasing a quilt kit from a quilt shop on Stone Mountain just outside Atlanta. Even though I had been sewing since I was 4, I quess I was afraid to try to make a quilt. I always wanted to. I watched both of my grandmothers make quilts. I just thought it was soooo advanced. I mustered up the nerve and bought a quilt kit, bought all of the fabrics and set to work. I stayed at home for 2 weeks and meticulously stitched it together. I couldn't believe how well it turned out. But I had no idea of how to finish it. I heard about quilter Sammi Simpson in the area, so I took it to her to ask her to quilt it for me. She just couldn't believe it was my first quilt top. Then she asked if I had "squared" the quilt...... "huh???" "what's that?" was my reply.
You know... did you check to make sure it was square?
I felt this wave of sweat wash over me from head to toe...." Oh no. How could it be otherwise if I cut precisely, and sew precisely.? " I was soooo careful with every stitch.... it just had to be perfect..... I marked and cut each and every piece by hand. No rotary cutter. I didn't even own one back then.
It was perfectly square. "Whew"
Then she asked " did you prewash your fabrics?"
My luck didnt hold up for that one.... Years later, I tested a red square and it bled like crazy. Still havent washed it. Had it dry cleaned a few times. but that just doesn't give it the same softness, ya know.
If anyone out there can tell me how to set the colors in this quilt, I would be so grateful.
Any whoo, I made it for my son's second birthday, and he still loves it. And so do I.
Sammi suggested I take her quilting class so I could learn how to do it myself. So I did and I soooooo glad that I did. I would rather make quilts than anything else.
This is our Granny Jones. She passed away a few years ago. We miss her.
I remembered her wearing this dress more often than other dresses. So I decided to make a "memory quilt" from the dress.
To me, this is a way to hold on to something that belonged to a loved one, in a way that you can cherish forever. And everytime you curl up with that quilt, it is like you are curling up with her.
My Aunt Polly had given the dress to Granny as a gift. Aunt Polly also just happens to be mother of the bride in this picture. Before I finished the quilt, Aunt Polly had fallen and broken her arm. It just seemed to me, that I should give this treasure to her as a gift. Returning the dress to her ... so to speak.
Now, every year, Christmas with the Jones's is like a family reunion. Granny and PaPa Jones had six kids. 3 boys, 3 girls. Their 6 children now have great-grandchildren..... It is a BIG family. The family has grown so much that we have to rent a local facility for our chrismas gathering. All of the Jones families exchange names and gifts. I didnt draw Aunt Polly's name so this gift was sort of a real surprise. I handmade a card with the wedding photo of granny and the story of the dress. It was taped to the top of the gift so that anyone could read it.... I watched as many family members walked around the gift table, saw the card and read it. Most of them walked away with tears in their eyes, but a smile on their face. It was so heart-warming. And everyone kept the secret until the gifts were handed out. Everyone watched and waited for Aunt Polly to open her gift. She was so surprised. Everyone cried. It was beautiful.
My cousin, also named Teresa, also the bride in the first pic, wanted this quilt so badly. Our grandmother had worn this dress to her wedding. These are the things that you want to hold on to.
Aunt Polly's other daughter, Angela, loved the idea. So she asked her mom to have me make a quilt from the dress that Granny Jones wore to her wedding.
Here it is,
It was a suit. I carefully dis-assembled it, cut into strips, and then diamonds. There were 9 blocks made from single 8 pointed stars. Each block finished with one inch border. There were 4 blocks with 2 layer 8-pointed stars. Here are pics of the work in progress.
For this quilt, I used one of our grandmothers flannel shirts, and one of PaPa's flannel shirts. Cream colored flannel was used for the front and back of the quilt. It is so soft. I loved making this quilt for my Father.
Everyone in the family loved the idea of using our grandparents old things in these quilts. There was one other quilt made from our grandmothers dresses for my Aunt Margie. I dont have pics of that one yet, but I will post them when I do.