Last summer I visited my aunt, uncle, and their daughter, my cousin plus her extended family. My aunt has always been good to me and mine- remembering all our birthday’s, the kids births, Christmas, etc. I wanted to reconnect with them, after having lived all over the place for 20+ years.
I stayed 3 nights and had dinner with all of them every evening. We discussed our lives and that naturally included my myriad of hobbies. My cousins daughter-in-law, their grandson’s wife, is a quilter but had no interest in a gift she had been offered. The gift? A quilt top pieced by my uncle’s mother. They asked if I would look at it. So, my last morning in town, I went by their place. When they showed it to me I asked if they wanted me to quilt it and return it to them. When they said, “No, we want you to have it.” Well, I started crying. This is a treasured piece of Uncle Tom’s history and my reaction was what they were hoping for.
The backing fabric was already there, kind of. I do not know what she was planning but there were issues so I made the decision to purchase new fabric. There were several small repairs to be made and I pulled it as carefully as I could- yes, I hand quilted it. Such a piece deserved the time it took. I was able to use the backing she intended to cut binding pieces. The backing I chose fits in quite well with the 1930′s fabrics. The fabric was old when she pieced it, so I am guessing it was made at least 75 years ago with scraps of clothing even older.
I washed it on the gentlest of cycles and laid it on the grass, in the shade, for a few hours, to get in some initial drying. I have heard all that tossing around of wet fabric can cause rips and tears
In a few weeks I will go by to see my aunt and uncle and show them the completed work. I will attach a piece of fabric with both her name and my own. I’m glad I will be able to get it to them before it’s too late, as Uncle Tom is already 89.
It seems I have become the finisher of ancient projects. I recently found two more boxes of quilt pieces. They have no family significance but deserve to be completed; next year!