Art quilters generally can be classified into 2 different categories. They either come from a quilting background or come from a more traditional art background (drawing, painting, etc.). I come from the former. I learned to sew when I was around 10 and learned to piece quilts early this century. I made a lot of traditional style quilts before I went rogue making art quilts.
Every once in awhile I like to go back to my roots, which I did this month. The quilt pictured here has been in the making for over 40 years. No I didn’t start it, my grandmother Libby did. She hand-appliqued the flower design blocks. I don’t know when Grandma Libby finished these blocks. The fabrics of the petals are from the 30’s & 40’s, possibly scraps from many other projects she made possibly including dresses. Grandma Libby was a quilter. My aunt tells me that Grandma would sit at night and hand quilt. She even said that for years Grandma didn’t want a TV in the house because she was afraid it would distract her from her quilting.
I inherited these blocks after my great-aunt passed away many years ago. Around 2003, I bought fabric to make the red sashing. Since then this project has been nagging me while the sashing fabric and blocks sat in a pillow case in my closet along with my other fabrics/projects.
Last month, I decided it was time to get it out of the closet. I went on a retreat to a friends house and knew this was the best project I was going to work on. Something to pay homage to my grandmother. You see she made me a quilt once and I don’t know what happened to it; a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I think in my foolish youth, I gave it away after I had outgrown the childish theme. Now, I wish I still had that quilt.
I share a kinship with my grandmother that no one else in the family has. As I work on this quilt, I view it as a team project, Libby and I are quilters.