• Sara

Stars & Squares

Great-Grandma's quilt top

*Disclaimer: some blog posts may ramble & relate only by the teensiest tangent to actual work conducted by Dandelion Vault.

For decades, my Grandma saved a colorful quilt top that my Grandpa’s mom stitched together, but never got to finished quilt stage. Great-Grandma Evelyn could sew, cook, make wine, play piano, manage a household that included four kids, and did it all with a clever sense of humor. I find stories about her fascinating and I strive to someday learn how to be that domestically competent.

My Grandma passed the quilt top on to me since I’m the grandkid who periodically pulls out a sewing machine imagining I’m capable of creating treasured, handcrafted heirlooms. It usually only takes a few hours of cutting, sewing, and seam-ripping to remember that fabric-based items of higher quality construction, with eye-pleasing color schemes, are readily available for purchase...likely for less money than the yards of material cost. Yet I toil on and eventually present a rather wonky, distractingly bright gift to some member of the inner circle.

My littlest likes colorful...and so do I.

Closer inspection of the quilt top revealed that Great-Grandma Evelyn (Evie) had sewn some of the star-filled squares by hand - evidence of the patience and precision built into life three generations ago. However, also visible were sections pieced together with the help of the sturdy treadle-operated sewing machine that must have felt like a time-saving privilege to own. The stars are made of a variety of cloth that I imagine came from worn out baby clothes, scraps from dressmaking, and other heavier duty materials. Despite my hopes to do some minor repairs and then finish off the original, the degradation over the years made that notion unrealistic. The next, more daunting option, was to learn the 8-point star pattern and recreate the look and feel as an homage to Evie’s efforts.

Thanks to repetitively relying on a YouTube video (that my significant other probably hears in his dreams), I've made a bit of progress. When the quilt is finished, I'll deliver it back up the generational ladder to my Grandma & Grandpa as a thank you for caring for the articles that inspired not only this project, but the whole of Dandelion Vault (here's that story). Only 46 more stars and squares to go...


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