Monday, 24 September 2012
A Quilt in Memory of a Great-Grandmother - and Pieced on a Treadle
First and foremost, a big thank you to Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville who posted my video "How to Treadle" on her blog yesterday.
I have been a big fan of Bonnie's for some time now and have her to thank for inspiring me to get quilting again after a gap of about 25 years.
Also, a big welcome to all the new followers who arrived yesterday - Rhonda D, JudyBL, Not Lucy, Marianne, Leeanne, bmoubray, sharon bull and Shena Boes.
Now that so many of you have seen the video of the Serata treadle, here are photos of the quilt that I made as my first project using that machine. I bought the machine in May last year, and once I had cleaned and oiled it I was ready to set to work.
The quilt top was made using material left by my sister-in-law's mother, who died nearly two years ago. Pat was 89, a great-grandmother, and originally from Wisconsin. She left the States in the late 1940's. She married an Englishman and lived at various times in the Middle East and Africa because he worked for an oil company. Eventually they settled in England, but she would visit her relatives in the States fairly regularly. She was a tiny little lady, and never lost her big Wisconsin accent.
When Pat died my sister-in-law and I sorted through bags full of material that she had squirrelled away. Some of the fabrics had come from the States - in fact I have recognised some of them on the slide shows on Bonnie's blog being used in her classes. Pat loved green, so I had the challenge of making a quilt in her colours. Fortunately she had yards of the neutral print that I used for the background, and I added a few matching colours from my own stash where needed.
All the piecing was done in strips, an ideal method with a treadle, and a great way to give the machine a good workout after years of lying idle. To add length to the blocks, so I could get nine houses to fit the top of the bed with an even border all round, I hit on the idea of adding hedges.
The quilting was done on a long-arm machine at the quilt shop, Midsomer Quilting They did a fabulous job, I was really pleased. Then all I needed to do was the binding, which again I did on the treadle.
This was my fastest project ever - two months from start to finish - because I wanted to make sure it was ready for the next time I visited my brother and sister-in-law. It looked perfect on their bed, and my sister-in-law was slightly emotional. My brother liked it too, but he had to be told that it was a houses design. He couldn't see them. He thought it was just random patchwork. Blokes.