It's Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts! And Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts. This week, I have the wonderful, and easy peasy, Granny Square Quilt to show you.
I think I'll Call this one November Girl, 'cause she reminds me of all that is good, and traditional, about late Fall.
Admittedly, mostly Pie.
Pumpkin pies, Cherry pies, little hand held Apple pies, Mince pies that only I like to eat, pies made by your mom, by your church ladies, by strangers in aprons at holiday bazaars.
Where I grew up, pie symbolized hospitality and the love and welcoming of others. The kind of place where everyone is welcomed like family, just like you and I. Is it any wonder that these little pastry cloaked delights are so evocative of the holiday season to come?
And like all of my quilts, this one has a story. Just a little heart-felt story of love and perseverance and faith in others and yourself. She's such a little nugget, just 176" around, so she'll grace the entranceway or snuggle with the cats on my lap as I work.
The story of this quilt begins with my own advent into quilting. I was working at the Four Valleys School, an after school community school that ran all of the kids sports, adult sport classes and any and every manner of art class, in Girdwood, Alaska. The northernmost rainforest in Alaska, and the United States, is in Girdwood. So as a girl fresh from the beaches of New Jersey, I had alot of time on my hands, at least when I wasn't wrangling kids and their dogs. And their bikes. And their mittens. Lots of mittens!!! And can I tell you about the BOOTS!!!
Every single day when I was working, or at the post office, or at the merchantile, or walking through the forest with the dawg, folks would stop me and tell me that I should join the Goldstitchers. "The quilters, you'll love it!"
Now, I hadn't quilted since just after gravity was invented, so all I remembered from it was endless tedious and hand numbing hours of cutting teeny patches and sewing them together, in not even mostly straight rows. My first and only quilt was in pink and black calico prints. I eventually made it into a blanket for the horse. The quilt kept her warm and toasty, and was eventually folded in half and handed down to the pony, so it must have been better made than I remember :)
The pony's name was Hurricane. Being heavily influenced by Pippi Longstocking (to this day!) my sister and I once threw her a party in the kitchen, only realizing when we saw our mother pull up in the driveway, that we had no way of making her leave (The pony, not the mother)! And I can tell you, she sure did not want to go! But that's another story.
So, after much urging and cajoling by the townsfolk, I went to Walmart, bought the cheapest machine I could find (in case I hated quilting), and some white thread (goes with everything), and shyly attended my first meeting of the Goldstitchers.
It's been several years now, and I've hardly missed a single Wednesday, since! Like quilt guilds everywhere, these ladies are my heart and soul. They provide support and laughter and straight talk when it's needed. They tell you your things are beautiful and then gently show you how to put them right. They laugh with you and cry with you and will listen to anything at all you have to say about the kids. Whatever would we do without each other??!
Little November Girl was the third quilt that I started under their tutelage. I don't know why she was set aside, but last quarter when I was rummaging through the closet for UFO's, there she was! I took her out, shook her off, inspected the stitching, and wonky rows, and decided her day to shine had finally come. And so it has. And every time I look at her, I don't see the white thread peeking through, or the wonky seams, or puckers at intersections. I see the sweetness and light that are Cleary, who even though she has MS and has every right to want to quit, is the most intelligent, funny, caring, persevering person I know; Liz who is fast, elegant, and smart and who is always trying something new; and Kathy who is sassy and straight and so deeply caring, and Kate who speaks to me of home and the heart just by being there; Rebecca who is sweet sophistication; Beth who is courageous, true and wonderful; and Ally who is so timeless that she seems straight from a New Zealand sunset surfing photo shoot; and Judy and Rorie, and Kathy and Marylyn who are strong and proud and true, and Donna who is my new speaks-my-same-language kindred sister.
These are my quilting ladies. And there's always room for more! So if you're free of a Wednesday, stop on by. There'll be tea and an amazing spread of eats, and some mighty good storytelling.
If you haven't made one of these lovely little quilts because it looks like you have to cut and piece a bajillion little teeny tiny pieces, never fear!! These quilts are made entirely by piecing strips of fabric together, piling them up, and slicing them into the widths you want. Then all it takes is to chain piece the first to the second piece, the third to the fourth, and on. If you would like, I will make you a lovely tutorial on how to do it. You won't even need a chick flick or chocolate to get you through it! :)