It was the Summer of 1999. I had just moved for the first time into an apartment. I happened to be at my Grandma's on one of her "throwing out" days. She'd do this periodically if she was frustrated with her vision. She has Macular Degeneration. On one said tossing out, my Mom went to visit and heard breaking glass. Mom ran down the stairs to find Grandma and Grandpa getting rid of old shit. The old 'shit' that they were breaking? Oodles of Depression Glass...because you see, they gave that 'shit' away free at the movies. Now, my mom was not a Depression Glass collector but having two friends that collect, she knew that there was quite a bit of money in those broken shards.
I remember it was hot. I found my Mom and Grandma in the attic (before my Mom moved in there). Grandma was going to throw out these boxes of fabric. Some were yardage, some were scraps. Mom and I rescued quite a bit of it. I also managed to go home with a rotary cutter, mat, rulers and her Singer 2010. I had no formal training but I figured I had watched them sew for how many years, surely I could figure it out.
After digging through my box I realized that I had a box full of flannel scraps and I recognized a large number of them. They were leftovers from the many pairs of pajamas and flannel shirts that my grandma had sewn and given as gifts all those years. I had a 6-1/2 inch square so I proceeded to cut everything in the box into 6-1/2" squares. Of course not knowing what I was doing I put that rotary mat directly on top of the carpet and started cutting. Yeah...not so smart!! I was making holes in the mat and just figured it was because it was brittle from being in the attic for so many years.
I knew nothing about 1/4" seam allowances or even seam accuracy but I didn't let that stop me. I sewed squares into pairs and then 4 patches and kept going until...I had 5 quilt tops. I also didn't realize at the time that I really needed to be taking pictures of these quilts so I only have a picture of three of them.
A Queen Sized one went to my cousin Keri. A twin sized one to my cousin Tracey's daughter Sammi. A twin sized one for my Grandma's 80th birthday. A twin for myself and the leftovers went into a baby sized quilt for my dog Sherman who had recently been diagnosed with cancer.
Here are My Grandma's, Mine & Sherman's:
My Grandma's has started falling apart...and badly. One could say it's old fabric; 40+ years. Sure it was, but I know that a lot of the problem lies in my stitching. Most of it is too frayed to do anything with. Mine hasn't been out and used in quite a few years. I'm afriad to use it. It's in a box with Sherman's. One of these days I hope to pull mine out and do some machine quilting on it to keep it from self destructing since it's only tied at the moment.