I have mentioned this particular quilt in a dozen different posts. The thing is, it’s my favorite. ABOVE all other quilts. I don’t know why exactly. I can look at it and see how complicated it was to make. The back of the quilt top had hundreds of tiny hand stitches. This quilt took it’s maker some time. SERIOUS amount of time. I really don’t know how long it took.
I love the mesh of fabrics and colors. Some of these had to be clothing from their feel. It’s the floppiest quilt I own. Un-stiffened with love and use.
You see this quilt was a vintage find for me. I found it unfinished. Unloved. Who would toss this out? If your mother made this, how could you let it go? Maybe I don’t understand this due to my deep appreciation of quilts and all things handmade. We are all different. And I am grateful to the person who did not want this quilt as it found it’s way to me who will cherish it for all time.
It’s my favorite quilt in the whole world and I don’t know who made it.
I purchased it from a lady in Wisconsin who had many quilt tops for sale. She ran around collecting them, I’m assuming.
It was one of my very first vintage quilt finishes and I felt a strange connection to it’s maker. It was this thing that we had sorta made together. She did the hard work and I got the easy stuff, but surely we both appreciated the work going into it. I wondered if she’d appreciate my quilting the way I appreciated her color fabric choices. If she was be amused with the fact that the border around the quilt would be my favorite vintage fabric and color and that I loved that she hadn’t had quite enough of it to make it around the whole quilt, so she added a little piecing that only made the quilt more charming and unique.
The lady who sold it to me knew no details.
So that’s that. I’ll never know
Since that time, I have finished dozens of vintage quilt tops. The above picture shows the stack I currently have of these unfinished works of art.
I’ve noticed that my tastes are usually toward the unusual. The quilts with the happy mistakes. I like a little wonkiness. They are also usually quilts I would never make due to their difficulty.
That’s kinda sad. These women are just forgotten. Their hard work is not forgotten, but the credit is lost. There could be a story that we are missing attached to your quilt.
I want to know who you are. I want to know where you are from. The year you made it. I want to know why you were inspired to make it. What made you sit for hours and hours and stitch and stitch and stitch? I want to know your quilt’s story.
More than likely, the quilts we make are going to outlast us. I picture my grandchildren wrapped up in one of my quilts that I cherished during my lifetime. Maybe they will hand them down to their own children. Maybe they will end up in a completely other home.
Someone will be sitting there on a porch swing, the breeze in their hair, wrapped up in this colorful quilt with a gazillion different fabrics. They’ll happen to glance at the back of the quilt, and they will see a little tag and they will see that this quilt was made by Melanie from Alabama fifty or so years ago. Maybe that’s all they will ever know of me. But they’ll know.
How to label your quilt
You may already know how to make quilt labels. That’s totally fine. Use your skills and label your quilt.
There are also many ways to stitch them on. I’m going to do a tutorial on stitching on your label within the next few weeks. But just to give you an idea.
My corner labels are my favorite. The reason is that I only have one side to stitch, the top. The other sides get closed up and stitched in with my binding. Crazy easy.
But some other options are needle turn applique that you can see Amy Smart doing here. Or maybe you need something even easier. My labels come with the option to be interfaced so you could just straight stitch or zig zag stitch them with your machine super quick.
The only thing important is that you do label it. Someone out there will hold your quilt one day and wonder.
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