Friday, November 28, 2008

Earliest quilts

My first quilt was entirely hand made including attaching the binding. It involved piecing diamonds into hexagons with Y junctions; I didn't know any better. I started it in the summer of 1972 when I was visiting my sister Anne in San Jose, California. It was unspeakably hot and the only place with air conditioning in which we wanted to spend any time was her favorite fabric store. There were copies of the newly established magazine, "Quilter's Newsletter", (in black and white) on the counter so we leafed through them and found quilts that caught our interest. We bought yardage in primary colors and then cut out templates from cardboard cereal boxes. I dutifully traced around the template and cut out each diamond with scissors. I took the quilt elements with me to Panama when we moved there for a stay of two years, 1973-75. My mother-in-law mailed me a quilting frame which she ordered from Sears. It took five years to complete this quilt. Sadly, many of the blue dyes have proved to be light sensitive and have faded badly. (80x100 inches)

My second quilt was a wedding present for my dear friend Harry Lyons. It was a Texas Lone Star. The corners and triangles featured quilting motifs specific to him and his bride, their initials, H & R, a fishing pole, a banjo and other such souvenirs. This photo is quite faded as indeed is the quilt which like my first has not stood up well to the test of time. I don't remember but since this also was entirely hand made, it probably took a couple of years.

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