Monday, October 02, 2006

~My Forever Project: Grandmother's Flower Garden~

Everyone needs a life-long project. It must be something that is a huge undertaking, one which will loom over your head for life. A project that you will move with you every time you move. Yes, a project that will last your lifetime!

I am being sarcastic, but I just happen to have such a project.

About ten years ago, a lady in my church knew that I was interested in quilting, and she gave me a quilt top that her mother-in-law found among some things she was cleaning out. The quilt top, a traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden, was gorgeous--a circa 1930's or 40's quilt top, mostly hand-pieced.

I fell in love with it. It has a few quirks--the seamstress ran out of the purple fabric and substituted another fabric in one corner. There are also several other variations that make it very unique.

And so began my journey. I chose to outline each tiny little hexagon with hand quilting. When I quilt it, I think of the woman who sewed it, and wonder why she didn't quilt it. Was the quilt top her life's project? Or did she sew it together and then lose interest? Perhaps she made it late in life and didn't get a chance to quilt it. I know where it came from, but the person who gave it away did not know who made it. I wonder if the pieces were scraps from clothing, or purchased for the quilt.

Well, I dug it out of my cedar chest last Friday night and started working on it again. I say it's my "life project", but truly it's taking so long because I'm not working on it! I haven't quilted on it for over a year. I was going to work on it last winter, but I never pulled it out. After I finished the hexagon (the larger "flower") I laid it out and counted the hexagons I had finished. I was shocked. In ten years, I had only completed 30 of the 64 hexagons! At this rate, I'll be well over 40 before I complete this quilt! Yikes!

I decided to leave the quilt out and work on it in the evenings, instead of starting a myriad of knitting projects. Now that I've made up my mind to work hard on it, I am on my 32nd hexagon. Great, now it's almost half-way finished!

Do you have a "forever" project? If so, what is it?


Susan said...

I don't have one that's supposed to take forever, but I do have one that is taking forever - my husband's cross-stitched eagle. I worked on it faithfully this past spring, but stopped for our trip to Texas, and I haven't picked it up since. I started it about 8 years ago!

Jodi said...

Well, let's see, I finished my son's hand embroidered baby quilt about 2 years ago (He turned 16 in June - uh, no he's not using it - lol; I'm saving it for his babies).

I like forever projects -- they keep me humble! :o) [And they give me something to do in between the projects I finish!]


On the side -- I love the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern. My grandmother actually made these; we have several of her finished ones in the family. My sister inherited the unfinished tops (not by a "will" more by default); so I can really relate to the enjoyment & the pain of your task (it's a BIG job!). Oh, by the way, she's not done with hers yet either, and she IS in her 40's! --;O)

Julieann said...

The quilt is lovely:) I don't think I really have a life long project yet--do my kids count..LOL:)

Anonymous said...

Wow Tammy it's just beautiful! How wonderful.

Christine said...

What an imspiring post! I think a lifetime project is a beautiful idea. Your Forever project is breathtaking!

Amy said...

What a beautiful treasure of a quilt! I've never taken on a really large project like that before, but I hope to someday.

Anonymous said...

That quilt top is beautiful. I have been doing a cross stitch for about 2 years. I have only done a tiny bit of it. Maybe I should dig it out for the winter evenings?

Anonymous said...

Your quilt top looks so pretty. I can completely empathize with you about quilts that take forever! I just finished my "forver" quilt project this morning. I had 120 blocks to hand quilt. Be encouraged! Just keep working on it and you will complete it!

Kelli said...

Wow! What an incredible quilt! So beautiful! I have a crazy quilt project that I haven't worked on in over a year. I like to tell people that it will be an antique by the time I'm finished it. ;0)
You have inspired me to get it out again!

Kristi said...

It's so pretty, Tammy. And the story behind it leaves several unanswered questions, doesn't it? It would be fun to just sit and think of different stories to tell with it.


Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful quilt, and I can't wait to see the finished product. I'm patient, I can wait a few years ;-)
I don't have any lifelong projects, maybe I need to think about some.

BTW, my new blog is set up now and the address I gave you before is wrong. Here's the right one

Barbara said...

WOW! You really do have a treasure you're working on! Some of the fabrics may have been scraps or possibly old feed sacks. They are quite popular now as collector's items for some quilters. You might see if someone who knows feedsacks can take a look at it.