Saturday, November 10, 2012
Amy's MIL Connie is a big quilter. Due to failing eyesight and portability, she only works on hex quilts these days, and they are done completely by hand. She likes to test the limits of the hex while remaining true to the traditional quilting patterns and methods. I was visiting Connie the other day to do some finish work on her bookshelves. She's also in a state of divesting her quilt library. Welcome to MY new quilt book collection: While I was there, I chatted to her a bit about her quilts, and managed to get some pictures of her 3 most prized quilts, which are the main features of 2 bedrooms in her home. This first one is made from 2" hexes. Connie collected fabrics from all of her neighbors and students and parents and all the people in her life at the time, and made this fantastic traditional flower hex quilt. She said she enjoyed working on the hex quilts while her kids were young due to how easy it was it was to take along with her. The quilting itself took longer than the top - she couldn't take it with her, and had to work on it in spurts here and there. But she got it done! Connie decided to take the hexes a step further - this next quilt is constructed of hexes that end up being 1/2" once sewn. She says this is the smallest reasonable (HA!) size to work with and still have shape and pattern recognition in the finished quilt. This quilt is BANANAS. Due to the excess material behind each hex piece, the finished quilt has a slightly puffed-hex feel to it. She opted to maintain the hexagonal edges on this one. The finished piece is about 40" x 30". I got the impression from Connie that the quilt she is most proud of is her Bicentennial Quilt. It's a red-white-and-blue hex quilt that is chock full of fussy-cuts. In talking with her, she mentioned that many bicentennial quilts were constructed to include parts of ancestral centennial quilts that were never completed! Connie didn't have any of those on hand, but she also did not want to leave her children with an unfinished quilt. She opted to have the hand-quilting done by someone else, but maintained the traditional quilting patterns. She also "signed" it in 2 corners, with fussy cuts of her name. Connie's asked me to help her sign the back of these quilts by embroidering her signature on the back of each. Hooray! It will be great to get a better feel of how they're made. More Connie chronicles to come - she claims to have some unfinished quilt pieces to pass on to me, and I'm sure to be inspired by this bundle of books!