Thursday, February 12, 2015

Baby Quilt from the Past

When I first began making quilts, our tools were fabric, pencil, and, after I graduated from using file folders or oak tag for templates, Shrinky-Dink plastic. I was thrilled with my first Olfa Rotary Cutter. While the Internet existed, it was pretty much confined to military use. I've forgotten about many of the quilts I made--especially if they were never photographed or if the film never was developed.
Here's one that had slipped my mind:

This quilt was made for my friend Tammy Somers when she was expecting her first child 21 years ago.  He is now a 21 year old U. S. Marine.

The back story is that Tammy's grandmother had made a quilt of the "cactus flowers" in Birmingham, Michigan around 1910.  (The pattern is sometimes called "Rosebud" and, like most patchwork patterns, has many names carried forward by oral tradition as well as printed sources.)  Tammy's grandma's quilt is made of green and white solids.  About 25 years ago Tammy was using it on the back or her sofa.  We were car pooling to our teaching jobs at Yahtahey, north of Gallup, NM, and one day I stopped by and saw it being used by her cats as a spot for sun worship.  That Christmas I made her a pillow with the Rosebud block, only I used the colors in the quilt above, which were a bit more blue than the original green.  Tammy gave me her grandmother's quilt--kind of a "Gift of the Magi" O. Henry twist.  It seemed appropriate that when Tammy was pregnant, she needed a  quilt made with the block pattern her grandma had used over 80 years earlier.

In the intervening years, a lot of history has been added to our pasts.  Recently, Tammy posted this photo (taken last Saturday) on my Facebook page in honor of her son's 21st birthday.  So, I'm sharing it with you.

I'd remembered our O. Henry story, and I cherish her grandmother's quilt. I posted about the antique quilt and the quilt I made to honor it here.  However, until I saw Tammy's photo, I'd forgotten that I'd used the same block to make her a baby quilt. The writing on the quilt is because in those days I often copied collected quotations onto baby quilts.  I did the same with my grand-niece's baby quilt. By that time I'd realized that despite being heat set, the words often disappear, so I'd settled for attributes instead of long quotes.

These babies do grow up fast, don't they?  It's fun to see them evolve, but it's equally nice to be able to call up the memories.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,

1 comment:

Needled Mom said...

It is fun to see it so many years later and it is a beautiful quilt.

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