When my kids were little they loved drawing, and I liked sewing quilts. But I didn’t just want to make quilts for the sake of making a quilt. I was drawn to the quilts of the early American pioneers: the quilts of the Oregon trail, of the Civil War, and of the early Afro-Americans. These quilts told a story. For many 19th century women their quilts were a record of some part of their daily lives. So I had this Great Idea. I would make a quilt using my kids drawings. This would be my record of what my kids were interested in and what they liked drawing at that time in their lives. Well that was the idea.
I gave them 4 inch square patches of material and told them to draw whatever they wanted on them. I was going to embroider the drawings and make them into a patchwork quilt. Yiscah, she’s the youngest and very headstrong, decided that she wanted to embroider her own drawings. She got to work and I soon had a pile of her embroidered squares. Problem was, she was the only one giving me squares. So the quilt of the Great Idea was now becoming Yiscah’s quilt, which was fine, except I had already made a quilt for Yiscah. Seemed that the Great Idea was getting in the way of the Grand Plan.
I also had this Grand Plan which went: 4 kids, 4 quilts. I had already hand sewn and hand quilted one of these 4 quilts, and that quilt just happened to be for Yiscah. It took me a few years to make it, which is why the plan is called “grand”. So now I was making a second quilt that looked like it should belong to Yiscah. As I didn’t want to give her another quilt before I’d made one for her brothers and sister, I decided I’d keep this one for my husband and myself. It took me under a year to sew the quilt top (which is quick for me), but I couldn’t decide whether to use a wide border or whether to keep up the patchwork design. That was 8 years ago. In the meantime I completed Quilt Number 2 of the Grand Plan, but that’s a story for another post.
The quilt top of the soon-to-be-finished quilt of the Great Idea: Yiscah called these fellows “firebugs”. You can see the little flames she loved to put on them.