Friday, October 30, 2009

Passing it on

Too often, when I tell somebody that I am a quilter, I hear that "quilting is a lost art," or "my grandmother quilted." The people who say that obviously are not quilters themselves. The fact is that quilting is making a huge come-back and many people, mostly women, of all ages are now quilters. Still, most of us have grandmothers rather than mothers who were quilters, but the day is surely approaching where we will be seeing more and more people who learned to quilt from their mothers, sisters, or even children.

For that reason, it thrills me to no end that my beloved nephew, Jens, and niece, Anna, both children of my sister and her husband, Vibeke and Klaus, not only love the quilts I make for them but both have shown an interest in sewing on their own. When they visited us in May of 2009, they both asked if I would help them sew something. Jens wanted to make a pillow and Anna a quilt. I let them use whatever they wanted from my scrap box and said that they could also use from my stash if only they asked first. As it turned out, they used almost exclusively fabric from the scrap box, but each bought a fat quarter when we visited the fabric store.
Jens and Anna both designed their own creations and hand pieced their works. I helped them cut the fabrics, sometimes pin them together and sometimes thread needles.
They were so into what they were doing that when we during their stay visited the local Shakertown museum, they both sat down with me to work on the quilt which was exhibited for that purpose.

Jens finished his pillow case, front and back, before they left our home to continue their vaction in a rented RV on the west coast. As you can see, he was quite pleased with the way it turned out.
Nobody took a bite out of this picture, it is a lamp which hangs above our dining table!
When it was time to leave, Anna had finished piecing her top but had not quilted it yet. So I showed her how to tie it and sent her on her way with enough perle cotton to finish that as well as instructions on how to apply the binding when she was finished. Her parents subsequently took pictures of her with the finished quilt as I had instructed.
In my totally unbiased opinion, both she and the quilt are gorgeous!
Anna made the quilt for her friend and gave it to her. Unfortunately, a very short while later, the quilt was mysteriously lost. Both girls were heart broken and everybody looked everywhere, and Anna's mother put up posters with the above pictures, but last I heard it had not been found.

When I visited Denmark in August, Anna and I went shopping for fabric and we designed a new quilt together. Before I left, I cut the fabrics and left fairly detailed instructions for her on how to sew it. I am so very sorry that I live so far away. I know that if we lived closer, Anna and I would be able to sew and quilt together and Anna would grow up and say, "my aunt taught me to quilt." I am not giving up on that idea yet, but it is hard when we only see each other for a few weeks a year. Here's hoping, Anna!

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