Monday, July 21, 2008

It's done - The Patsy Quilt, Part 2

The quilt for my nephew's baby is done. I took the last hand stitches tonight as I completed attaching the gingham binding. The back is fleece; the front is primarily made of fabric recycled from a quilt my sister, Patsy, my grandnephew's grand mother, had made in 1977. I shared some of the story of the quilt in this blog post.
When Brian, my nephew, married Joanna, there was a single rose on the altar at the church. It was there in honor of his mother, my sister. At the reception, Joanna had placed a photograph of Patsy on the grand piano in the room. She wasn't there in person, but they thought of her and had her at both the wedding and the reception, and it sure meant a lot to my side of the family to see these tokens of remembrance.
My sister is a big part of why I sew. She could make the most elegant things out of the most simple of materials. She could make anything. She embroidered the most beautiful items. For a time, she would take a simple chambray shirt and embroider the yoke en toto, usually adding something to the front pocket. Those shirts were amazing. I had one, but who knows what happened to it. I didn't realize the work of art I owned until it was gone. She could draw simply anything. It was amazing. I wanted to be able to do the things she did. I learned to embroider from books and never came close to the quality of her work, but I was very proud of it. I saw some of her early quilts and knew they were made of things she already had. I started saving every bit of fabric I could to make a quilt someday. I've since made plenty, but they started with a big paper bag in which I collected bits of this and that. She used to joke that she was the "Maxwell Housewife."
Later in her life, she didn't sew much. I always wished she would - she was so good at it!
I'll post a picture of the completed quilt soon. It needs to be washed on the gentle cycle and hung in the sun to dry. I think it's beautiful. I know it's beautiful. It's a work of Patsy's art combined with my desire to give my grandnephew a little something to grow old with. We miss my sister. She was something else.

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