When my mom died 19 years ago, among her sewing treasures I found these quilt squares. They reside in a bag with a whole bunch of non-stitched squares on white, pink, yellow, bright orange, bright bright green, and nearly-electric blue squares. I'm not sure when she started stitching this quilt, or for which of her 19 grandchildren they were intended. So not being able to part with them, and not knowing what to do with them, they sat for nearly two decades on my shelf.
This year, I'm making a concerted effort to do some downsizing. Nothing radical. One item per day is enough for me to feel accomplished. In looking over my shelves, these quilt squares came to the fore.
Now I have something to do with them! My daughter Julie and her husband Jeff are expecting a baby girl in May. I've decided to embroider some of these squares and make them into a quilt for our new granddaughter. This way, Baby Otto will have something from her great-grandmother and her grandma.
There are some issues with the quilt blocks, though.
- The fabric Mom stamped on is very thin, so I will need to do some interfacing. Even then, I think some of the carry-over stitches on the back will show through.
- The stamping on several of the squares is quite close to the edge of the quilt blocks, rather than centered in the squares. (Note the yellow flower on square with the deer wearing an orange scarf). I'm going to have to take that into account when I square the blocks before sewing them together.
- My mom had an odd sense of color. She always liked grayed tones mixed in with bright tones. I did my best to match floss colors with the squares she finished, then added to that color pallet to expand my options.
- My mom and I don't have the same embroidery style. Her stitches are much larger than mine, plus she had a playful side where she freely added embellishments. I tend to be a "color within the lines" kind of gal. Or as my son-in-law said, I'm "orderly." (He hit that on the nose!)
Mom embroidered the four blocks in this photo. I'm trying to match Mom's style so the quilt will be cohesive. So far, I've finished stitching one square. I think I've decided that it's OK that things don't match precisely. It will be apparent who stitched which blocks, and that may well add some charm to this four-generation quilt.
- It doesn't look like Mom washed the fabric before she stamped the images on the squares. Some of the fabric is 100% cotton, like a muslin. Others look like a cotton/poly blend. I'm hoping that doesn't become too much of a problem, but I'm afraid it might due to possible shrinkage. I think I may need to wash the squares before squaring them up and sewing them together. I could use some advice on this matter.
- The style of animals on the various squares morphs a lot. These four squares, and 3 or 4 others, have a hand-drawn look. Some of the other squares have animals with more cartoonish shapes (for lack of a better word). They don't exactly go together. It's likely just fine, but I need to noodle out which designs to use and how to place them for a cohesive quilt that I'll find aesthetically pleasing.
- Then there's the little concern that I haven't made an entire quilt by myself since college. I'm going to have a learning curve here. With my personality, that often means thinking about something for months before starting the process of hands-on working through the problem. And, well, I have just five months.
So, this will be interesting! I like that I can think of it as a series of little projects, stitching just one square at a time and showing my progress. That will be the fun part. Maybe by the time the embroidery is done, I'll have worked out the other technical issues.