About a year ago, I was graciously given an entire car full of a friend's grandmother's quilting supplies. Her name was Charlotte and she passed away leaving a loving family with some beautiful quilts and SO. MUCH. FABRIC. A few family members took a few things like the nicer machines and I was given everything that was left. It filled my car from floor to ceiling everywhere except the drivers seat. It took several weeks to go through everything. There were patterns and partially finished blocks and lots of scraps and quilting catalogues from the 90s and so much other stuff.
In the pile I found a photo of this Texas quilt layout as well as some of fabric and a few partially completed blocks. I'm not sure if Charlotte made this quilt and took it apart or made some blocks inspired by someone else's quilt, but I knew I wanted to do something Americana and similar to it.
I spent a long time rearranging what was partially made, figuring out how to replicate more of what she has made to complete patterns and doing a lot of research on traditional quilts. It was super fun and definitely a huge learning experience. Also, because I was making it sort of freestyle, figuring out how to fit it altogether was a challenge.
I finished the quilt top in December of 2016, but ended up packing it up not long after because we were planning on moving to California. It was a little wonky and uneven in some parts where I tried to recreate certain blocks, but I still loved it. A few of the block were signed by what I'm assuming where Charlotte's friends who gave or swapped a few quilt blocks with her. It made me a little teary to hope that I was carrying on someone else's work!
Once we got settled in San Francisco, I started working on this quilt again in the hopes that I could get it done as a Christmas gift for its intended recipient. I did the back using only scraps of fabric in a similar color scheme. This is about the time where this quilt started to be the bane of my existence! So many pieces and details and so much stress about how to quilt it and basting it was a workout in itself.
I decided it was so big and heavy that I wasn't going to quilt the entire thing and that I would only do segments. Essentially any area that was blue, green, purple, or black was quilted with dark blue, a few red areas were quilted in red, and then a few white or beige areas were quilted with white. One can only do so much with no long arm machine! One of this days I'll pay for professional quilting services, but this was not that day!
I was so pleased when it was finished! The only thing that really bothers me is the one super crooked row of small flying geese, but this is the first quilt that I've done flying keeps so I guess I won't beat myself of too bad! All I could think about is that I hope Charlotte would be happy with what I've done with her work.
I actually made quite a few quilts this year for Chanukah and Christmas and will be sharing them slowly over the course of the next week or so. Man oh man did my post office bill start to rack up! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and has a wonderful New Years!