Many years ago my grandmother worked on quilts with her mother. It was during the war. They passed their evenings hand sewing tiny scraps of fabric together. The fabrics didn't usually coordinate, and they were not the latest trend. They used what they had. Some of the blocks and quilt tops they made never became quilts. Instead they sat in a closet waiting.
When my grandmother died, my aunt gave the pile to my mom. She thought her brother's wife could use them better than she. My mom put them up in her closet. Almost two years ago, my mother pulled them out of her closet, and gave them to me. My mom thought I might be able to use them. My father did not want them. He knew his mother made them, but wasn't sure they could be used. He worried that the fabric was too old to be of use. I looked at them and marveled at the tiny hand stitches. Each piece was meticulously hand sewn. I wasn't sure what to do with them, so I put them into my closet. I knew I would use them, I just wasn't sure what they should become.
Recently I have been pulling them out and mulling over what to do with them. I wondered how to best utilize the fragile fabric and intricate piecing. I knew the complete top would need to be sandwiched with a good backing and bound. That would be easy once I found a fabric for the back. It also would need to be quilted. That would be a bit trickier. I pondered the best use of the larger dresden plate blocks and the 6 point stars. What size quilt could it make? Would it be better as a pillow or a wall hanging? It was so much to decide. My mind would reel, and I would shove the fabric back into the closet.
Today I decided to forge ahead. I counted the dresden blocks and sat down with graph paper. I graphed the quilt I have in mind. It is simple, but I think it will be used. I don't want these to sit in the closet any longer. I want them to be part of our lives. I spoke to my mom a bit about the quilts, and she likes my plan. Tomorrow I will begin to actually sew.