Since I had never really quilted an old top on the longarm I was fraught with indecision. I was afraid that the longarm needle would be too much for the delicate old fabric. The quilt did not lay anywhere near to flat. Almost every curved block had a little pooch in it. Numerous background fabric had been pieced.......the grainlines went every which way. The quilt was no where close to being square. The top measured 69" and the bottom measured 65" ......a full 4 inches different. The sides were pretty close to being the same at 85".
I was pretty scared to do this quilt.......what if I ruined it? Should I improve on the piecing? That would mean taking it apart......AND changing it.
Finally I just jumped in. I figured that the people who wanted this quilt finished wanted it for sentimental reasons and would want it to remain as it was originally pieced.
So I put it on the longarm figuring to baste down the top and sides and if the fabric held up I would tack it at the intersections. The fabric seemed so thin and fragile, but I soon realized that it was actually made from old flour sacks and was pretty durable. So I ended up outline quilting the blocks and curved pieces. It worked out great.
Whenever I work on a quilt I can't help but think about the person who will be receiving the quilt and trying to quilt alot of love into it, but in this case my mind kept wondering about the person who had pieced this quilt so long ago.
What was she like? Why did she make this quilt? What was her life like?
I was really fortunate enough to get some of these questions answered about this particular quilt.
This is what I received:
" It was made by Ola Streety who was born in 1900. She said it was her 1st quilt and it just never got completed. She was between 13-18 when it was done (they think) and when they found it, it was quite a surprise as the other family had already been through the house and taken anything of any value or interest. This was found in a box in a shed or attic and is really the only thing Jim (Tonya's husband) got that was his grandma's. I was able to make a pillow case just like you showed me to put it in. She wants to meet you some time to thank you herself. I told her what a special person you are and how you really connected with the quilt. Thanks again!!"
I am so happy to have been part of bringing this special memory alive in such a tangible way to this family. I hope that they enjoy this quilt for many years and can feel the loving arms of Ola around them when they snuggle in this quilt.
This is the unquilted picture of the quilt.
I always like to close my post with a picture of my sweet grandbaby.
This is my current fav pic of her: