Saturday, October 15, 2011

Repurposed .... and loved

This will never go down in history as one of my "most creative" or "most intricate" quilts -- but it may be one of the most appreciated.

When my brother-in-law's aunt died, he and his brothers were charged with cleaning out the house and dividing up property since she had no children.  As the only quilter in the extended family, I was given a little cardboard box that had these eight pieced blocks, the cardboard templates, her little rusty pins, her drawing of the block on the back of stationery from her work (I love that part!) and the scraps of leftover red fabric and what appears to have been a sheet or a man's shirt that was being repurposed.  One block actually has the writing from the cleaners on it.

Now -- what in the world do you do with this?  You put it on the shelf and forget about it -- that's what you do!  And I did.

A few years later, I found the box and was looking at the blocks -- can you see the boo-boo she made in setting one of the corner blocks--and decided maybe I could make my brother-in-law a quilt for Christmas out of Aunt Hortense's blocks.  He did not have a quilt from me and I wasn't sure he would really even like to have one -- but I felt certain that he would appreciate the effort.

So - I played with layouts and knew that to stretch eight hand pieced blocks into a large lap quilt, it was going to take a lot of fabric, setting blocks, and letting go of some of my "rules".

And it began: I laid it out a number of ways, "scooched" and wiggled the blocks to square them, and made this quilt.  All I can say is -- it was so worth it!  This is a treasured and appreciated piece by my brother-in-law and may be one of the most loved quilts I've made.

Perhaps someone will come along who doesn't know me and finish something I've started one of these days....I hope you're finding time to piece and quilt!  Jan


Anonymous said...

This makes for a great keepsake. The quilt looks wonderful. Well done!

Exuberant Color said...

I think it turned our really nice.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

I like the quilt a lot, and the story even more!

Katie said...

Hi Jan, I love the story - it adds so much warmth to the quilt, and makes me smile to remember that even 'blokes' can be such sentimentalists! A lovely job, I'm with you on the relaxing bit - we set ourselves regulations lol and it's hard to change.. I'm doing a charity quilt at present and to work with the 'canTeen' fabric I had to rethink - its harder than it sounds... So congrats on a fab job x

Mary said...

I love quilts with a story. You're right. This quilt will be deeply appreciated and loved.

Hitch and Thread said...

This is a lovely story. Thanks for sharing. I have some blocks of my Mum's that I'm going to reset one day too.