Sunday, October 19, 2014

She started it

Deep in the belly of my fabric stash, in the darkest corner of the closet, there is an old canvas tote bag embellished with buttons, doilies, embroidery and other sewing paraphernalia that I made years ago (and will never, so help me ever, be seen on my shoulder in public) stuffed with a jumble of old scraps, notions and orphan quilt blocks.  I haven't peeked into it in years, and to my delight, found a strip of seven blocks made with old feed sack fabrics, that I had bought at a quilt show for $3.
 Someone had started a quilt, and never finished it.  Now why does that sound familiar?  The blocks were pieced both by hand and machine, and not always accurately.  I would have run away screaming if I had to sew just one of those blocks.  I'm surprised she made it to 7.

I imagine her tossing it aside in a fit of impatience, (oh wait, that would be me) or stuffing it into a canvas bag in the back of her closet to be dealt with later (me again).  Or maybe she just lost interest and started something new.
Somehow, the old blocks found their way to a quilt show sale table, where I snatched them up. Now I don't care if you quilt, knit, crochet, or do underwater basket weaving, you probably have several projects on the go at once, and if you're anything like me, you approach said projects like a chain smoker, starting up a new one before the last one is done. So why would I want to work on someone's unfinished project when I can't even finish my own?
Closure, I suppose, for a very talented quilter who came before me.  Someone who inspired me to make a table runner out of her handiwork and show everyone that her efforts were not in vain.   Besides, I know what it's like to not finish a project.
Despite the wonky mismatched seams, the pink fabric bleeding onto the white, (things I hardly tolerate in my own work. Hmmm something to think about there) I love her quilt blocks. 
I kept 6 of the blocks together in their original order and added the crosshatch border fabric.  Then I hand quilted it with running stitches.  The binding was sewn onto the back by machine, then flipped to the front and hand sewn with more running stitches using two strands of blue embroidery floss.
I backed it with a bright yellow calico, and used the 7th block as a giant label.  The runner measures 63 x 15.  Look at all those seams!!  Curved piecing too!  That black fabric with the roses is my favorite.

After I took these pictures, I went back and added my name to the label.  I don't know who started it, but it's finished now.

I hope she likes it.


  1. Well, you've done her proud!
    xo Kris

  2. Oh, she'd be very happy to see this! It's so pretty. Love the story behind least what you know. Very cool.

  3. A great rescue! And each time you look at this piece you will smile knowing there is a kindred spirit smiling with you

  4. What a sweet post. Love that you finished up these blocks and gave them back a little respect! I finished up a vintage block table runner myself this summer and found myself appreciating the less than perfect piecing too. It's definitely something to think about.:)

  5. You rescued the blocks and made them into a nice runner.
    Now it is your project and you can be proud of it.

  6. You rescued a beautiful piece. Someone took so much time to piece it thereto, your finish made it perfect. I love it.

  7. This is BEAUTIFUL! You've done a wonderful job putting the blocks together - I love everything about it. Closure for $3.00 - awesome :) I'd love to have some old blocks like this to play with.

    Pam P
    (new follower)

  8. Hi Lynne! I have been reading your posts and love your blog! Your quilts and photos are so beautiful! This one has an exciting story and you finished it lovely! x Teje


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