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Sunday, December 17, 2006

December Journal Quilt_Passing the Torch


This final page in the fabric book honoring my Granny is a joint effort by three generations; I got granddaughter Mandy's permission to use a block she put together from my scrap bag; to her block I added some more of Granny's blocks, fabrics and sewing notions and designed, fused and sewed it together myself. Passing the Torch celebrates the passage of the love of quilting from Granny to me and on to Mandy and future generations.

I was so proud of Mandy when she put together such an attractive block from scraps without a pattern and without supervision. It looked so nice that I knew it had to be the centerpiece of the final journal quilt in this series. I sewed on muslin borders to make it the proper size and then fused on the Grandmother's Flower Garden block and the photos printed on cotton fabric; then I machine stitched around each fused piece.

A photo of Mandy holding Ditto centers the Flower Garden block; the lower photo is of five generations of our family and is the only photo that contains both Granny and Mandy. You have to use your imagination to see Mandy because she is in her mother's tummy and was born two months later. The baby is her brother, Ben. Her mother, my daughter Kat, was quite ill at this time with the beginning of the kidney problems that have plagued her all these years. Granny was 92 in this photo and only lived a year longer. My Mom, Evy, and I are also in this photo which is framed with long antique brass sewing machine bobbins. A bow of bias binding is tipped with tiny vintage wooden thread spools.

A piece of silk organza attached to the center of Mandy's block has the following quotation from Jennifer Chiaverini printed onto it:

"At last she understood the true lesson of the Christmas Quilt, that a family was an act of creation, the piecing together of disparate fragments into one cloth--often harmonious, occasionally clashing and discordant, but sometimes unexpectedly beautiful and strong. Without contrast there was no pattern, as Great-Aunt Lucinda had taught her long ago, and each piece, whether finest silk or faded cotton, would endure if sewn fast to the others with strong seams--bonds of love and loyalty, tradition and faith."

The back of the page has more of Granny's sample blocks and pieces fused onto a muslin background which is fused onto a thin cotton batting. One edge is finished with a binding of strips of vintage cloth; the other three edges are satin stitched. I had planned to bind the whole piece with the colorful vintage fabrics but after attaching the one side I thought that doing the whole edge would overwhelm the page.

I am very pleased with the journal quilt fabric book that I've completed. I missed a couple of months but think that I've said what I planned on saying from the conception of this project. I still have to figure out how to attach the pages into a book format and will post a photo when that is completed. I cannot express how happy I am to have taken part in this Challenge. It gave me the opportunity to learn so much about art quilting and fabric collage as well as creating the memorial to my Granny's life and creativity that I've wanted to do for several years. I now plan to display the finished fabric book, in July, at the art show on Missouri Day in my and Granny's hometown, Fowler, Colorado. There are many people there who remember her and will appreciate this tribute to her.

It is appropriate that I quoted from one of the Elm Creek Quilt books, since Jennifer Chiaverini is responsible for me being involved with online quilters. When I read the Master Quilter as a new quilter, I was fascinated by the online group of quilters and decided to get online and see what it was all about. That is how I became a member of the About.com Quilting Forum which led to The Journal Quilt Challenge 2006, which finally brought us to the Quilt Studio Webring (see sidebar button).

8 comments:

Rian said...

What a lovely and fitting final entry in your journal quilt series. Well done!

maria in nc said...

Your tribute to your Granny is just beautiful. I wish I'd have had a grandmother like that.

Debra Spincic said...

I am so proud of you for going the distance on this journal book. It just gives me goosebumps!

Please do a picture of each page in one post so we can see them lined up before they are "bound" in the final book!

Kim said...

Well done Fran! It's been such a pleasure watching your progress this year.

Sande said...

Congratulations on finishing (and finishing well!). Your plans for displaying the book are great and should be lots of fun.

The Carolina Quilter said...

I love that your last journal page has such meaning and love woven into it. I have one of those little slides in the end of a plastic viewing piece we got at Six Flags over Georgia back when Jerry and I were first married and went there with my parents and my oldest aunt and cousins and my brother before he was married. I'd love to have it made into a print since we were all so happy--and so much younger and now my mother and my aunt are both gone.

quiltnbee said...

A wonderful ending to a wonderful series. I'm so proud of you Fran for going the distance in this Challenge. You have made such a beautiful tribute to Granny with every one of your pieces. How wonderful that you will be able to share your book with other people who knew her, too. Fantastic job! I can't wait to see what you do in the coming year!

QuiltingFitzy said...

Fran,
You've really gone the extra mile with your completion of this project. Thank you for stretching your imagination and enlarging that learning curve...the true way to keep young in mind and spirit, even if the bod won't cooperate!!

Hugs!!!