Monday, January 30, 2012

Vintage Grandmother's Flower Garden top

I taught myself to quilt in 1971 from the Foxfire book.  At the time I was living in LA and thought I was cool and awesome making a quilt.  I took 12 and a half inch squares and tied them with yellow basting needed.  My son has that quilt on his bed now.  It is big and puffy.  I thought that puffy was the in thing in quilting until I met Lillian Barkley of Glendale, Arizona.  Lillian was my Great Aunt Billie's best friend.  When Aunt Billie heard that I was crazy over quilts, she arranged a meeting with Ms. Lillian to see her quilts.  I was taken back.  Ms. Lillian's quilts were flat and crinkly and cotton, not polyester.  There were small pieces and she had done it all by hand.  I was amazed.  Ms. Lillian took a liking to me and gave me this top only partially pieced and made me promise to finish it.  Oh, sure said problem.  I was delighted.  Well....hmm.....According to my calendar, 1972 is 40 years ago.  Hello Lillian, long gone...I am still here.  I thought that I was a purist.  But, I guess I am not.  I have loved this and looked at it for all these years wanting to finish it in the same style as she  would have wanted.  Now, I think she might be ok know?  So as I looked at it yesterday for the millionth time, I noticed climate stains and frail seams.  I took my rotary and wacked off the borders and added some Kona green.  I have a pale yellow backing and I am hoping against hope to have it longarmed.  I think Done is better than rotting.  And, since I am the only one left alive to know the history, I think that I had better be able to enjoy it now.  So Ms Lillian and Diane present:

Great Aunt Billie was born in Oklahoma and married my great Uncle Bert.  He was my grandfather's of 11 siblings...the only two to have immigrated from Goteborg, Sweden.  Uncle Bert was a business man and my grandfather Carl Franzen was a gardener and a dreamer.  He was 17 years older than Grandma having taught himself to read the classics in Latin and Greek as he rode the rails as a hobo.  My mother, an only child got the literature and the dreamer part from him.

1 comment:

MulticoloredPieces said...

Aww, such a lovely story to go with a lovely quilt. I do agree about the quilting. I'm only hand quilting on my grandmother's quilts that I'm restoring, and only because the hand quilting is still mostly intact. Life is too short!
best, nadia