05 January, 2015
Vintage French Quilt
About 18 months ago our wonderful neighbours moved. They were the first people to welcome us into the home. Of course, they thought my husband had moved in with his parents not his wife, but we totally forgave them for that. Over the years we've shared anniversaries together, summer nights with gin, and family gatherings. They treated us like another set of kids and our kids called them Poppa and Grandma. We miss them terribly.
On the day they were packing up the house Poppa showed up on my doorstep many times. Dropping things off, asking to borrow something, needing a break. Then he showed up with a mystery box labeled Quilting Pieces. Rather than let his wife go through it and hold on to One. More. Thing. He squirrelled it away to my house, a loving home for it. Inside the box were many interesting things, but my favourite was the quilt top.
Over the holidays our old neighbours invited us out to Banff, where they had travelled to spend the time with family. It was a great opportunity to hand them back a finished quilt, and get the story of it. Grandma Betty tells me the top was made by her mother, probably in the 50s. It was filled with fabric from old clothes, plus some commercial fabrics. She recognized a few charms from her own clothes.
It was a thrill to be able to take something that had languished, site unseen, in an attic box and turn it back into a family heirloom. All I did was add a simple stipple in Auriful 2600. The piecing was good, but not great so I did not want to straight line quilt. A gentle wash removed the stains I found on the quilt top. And then binding in some vintage inspired Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy.
I'm happy that this quilt is now back with its family, where it belongs. Three generations are living on the same street, so this quilt will be continuing a tradition of love and comfort.
On the name, French is their last name. This is not a French quilt nor does it have, as far as I know, French fabrics.