Out here in “the country” we find entertainment in different ways than “city folk” do. A couple of weeks ago my neighbor had to have a giant oak tree cut down and that counts for big entertainment for me. This tree was right next to the house so it couldn’t be felled. They had to bring it down limb by limb. Watching skilled teams do that is like watching a ballet performance. It’s entertainment.
What does that have to do with quilting? Well, while watching a tree come down you have a long time to talk. We are on 10 acre lots here so we don’t often get to chat with our neighbors. We are all hermits so everyone is fine with it. I talked with my neighbors more that day than in the whole 8 years they have been here and that eventually led to a tour of their beautiful house and this quilt.
Melanie does some needlework (crochet and felt appliqué) and when she found out that I quilted she wanted to show me 2 quilt tops that she had. One was a pretty quilt and based on the pattern and fabrics I’d guess it was from the early 2oth century. Sadly many of the pieces were “rusted”/shredded. There’s no hope for that quilt. But then she pulled out this postage stamp quilt and my knees went weak. I am a total sucker for a postage stamp quilt. Based on the fabrics I’d guess it was made in the 40’s or 50’s. It’s all hand pieced. We didn’t lay it out but I told her I’d look at it and try to quilt it for her. I was thinking that I could do something all over and a quick binding and she would at least have something that she could use.
Then I brought it home and spread it out. Sadly, that amount of fullness can’t be quilted out.
In this photo it’s folded into quarters and you can see how the center bows out. I took it to sewing last weekend and had my expert quilt committee look at it and the agreed. We think that the only hope for this quilt is as a cutter. The center is at least 6” longer than the sides. We measured and the center squares are at least 1/8” bigger than the squares on the side. With that many seams that adds up to a lot of inches. I think it might have been pieced at 2 different times or by 2 different people.
I could see it cut into placemats, Christmas stockings, pillows or squares sashed into a quilt. None of those are projects I’m willing to invest time in. I’m pretty sure it’s not a family quilt so I don’t think she will care either.
Sometimes seeing a quilt like this makes me sad but maybe this was someone’s therapy. You know we all have quilts that we’ve made as therapy. They have no other purpose than to get us through some stress or to keep our hands busy while we wait. I like to think that this quilt was someone’s therapy project and with that it’s met its purpose. If nothing else ever happens with it that’s OK.