One of my favorite things to get in the mail is catalog for C&T Publishing. Since I do a lot of quilting for books, it’s always fun to see pictures of quilts that I quilted almost a year ago. But this catalog held something even more important for me:
At first, you might not think that a book about Amish quilts would have much to do with me and my quilting. But if you look at the quilt on the bottom left, you will see a quilt that is so special to me. It’s a quilt that my grandpa and I collaborated on.
I talk a lot about my husband’s Grandpa Ford and about how he is the one that set me on this quilting path. Grandpa Ford loved to make Amish quilts and he made several over his lifetime. He made this particular quilt top before he passed away 5 years ago. He gave it to me for me to quilt, stating that he wanted me to give the quilt to my daughter. I put the top away, with every intention of quilting it “soon”. But like most of my personal quilt tops, it got put in a pile and kinda forgotten.
That is, until I saw that C&T publishing asked for submissions to a book on Amish Quilts. Instantly, I remembered grandpa’s quilt and submitted it. Even though he is no longer with me, we can still collaborate on a project. I am looking forward to seeing our names together on the page. I tear up just a bit thinking of it.
Now that I had a deadline, I promptly got down to business. Since it was my daughter’s quilt, I let her pick out the backing fabric. Here is what she selected:
Well, we know she has good taste in fabric, she totally raided my Tula Pink fabric stash and pulled a piece of Neptune and Prince Charming. I considered not letting her use it, I mean, come on…..that’s neptune!!
When I loaded the quilt, I had no idea how to quilt it. I wanted to take this traditional, amish quilt and add a “modern” touch with my quilting. But I wasn’t sure what to do. And since Grandpa had such a bold taste in colors, I had to figure out what thread color I was going to use……decisions, decisions!!!
After some sketching, I decided to use the quilting to create a secondary design.
A view of the quilting from the back:
Since the design wasn’t confined to each block, I had to use a single thread color. It was a hard choice, but I finally opted for a blue thread color. It was the color that seemed to blend the best.
A picture of the back….
And, unlike most quilts that I make, I added a quilt label. This is a special quilt that I want to be handed down through my family. A label will help people know that Grandpa Ford started this quilting legacy.
When the quilt was returned to me from C&T, I gave it to Cloe who promptly hugged it to her chest and grinned. She may not remember Grandpa Ford personally (she was only 3 when she passed away) but I tell her about him often and now she has a very tangible reminder of him. Now, 12 years after I first started making quilts, I have what I would consider an heirloom quilt.
What about you, do you have a special quilt that will be (or has already been) passed down through your family?