Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Thirty Year Quilt

One of Margy's best friends, Robin, married Lou in 1979. Thinking of a wedding gift for this special friend Margy decided it would be nice to make them a quilt. She had a lot of sewing experience and inspiration from a family heirloom but had never made one.  She bought a book, decided on a star pattern, and with her mother bought material at a Lancaster Amish fabric store. And so it began over thirty years ago.

What happens in thirty years? Margy finished college and then a masters degree. She bought a house and gave birth to and raised two children as did her friend. She named her daughter Robin. She got a job and then another and another following a shifting career path. And all the while she worked on the quilt when she could.

It was carried about in a yellow plastic bag, the ever growing star, the diamond shaped pieces. Each band a different color, each band 16 more pieces than the last, 800 in all, all stitched by hand. As the star grew it became a little celebration to move to the next color.

About three years ago the star was complete. Only thing left to do is the quilting. She bought the rest of the material, the dark blues and cotton batting, the white/light blue backing. I made a quilting frame for her which replaced the ping pong table. This is a big quilt, 8 feet on the short side, king size. And so for countless hours she worked away stitching the lines of the star and then a wave pattern out to the perimeter.

As this summer approached Margy's family planned a gathering in Maine not far from where Robin and Lou now live. We would of course stop to see them. Could she finish the quilt in time? Three days before we left the last stitches on the outer binding were made. Break out the champagne.

We often make plans with good intentions. The saying goes the road to hell is paved with them. Along with feelings of accomplishment Margy is a little relieved to have finally followed through on this one.

1 comment:

Bruxist said...

Hi Steve,
Congratulations to Margy-quite an achievement. I thought you both might enjoy this link in the New York Times- about modern day rugs from Morocco (which have a little something in common with the Gees Bend rugs which, If you are not familiar with them you should check out.