Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hexagons... or Why I quilt

Sometimes when I tell people I quilt they look at me like I have 3 eyes. What? But you're so young. Isn't quilting something old grannies do?

As much as it bothers me when people say things like this, when I reflect on it further I think the tradition of quilting is part of the reason I quilt. I grew up in a home filled with quilts made by... you guessed it,  my great grandmother.  They are some of the most treasured heirlooms in my family.

Quilting is an American Legacy. Quilting first became popular in colonial America when women would take scrap pieces of fabric and make blankets. When I made my first quilt top years ago, I was drawn to quilting because I thought I felt like it was a dying art that was being lost in my generation.

cutting some hexagons for a new project/experiment
Many projects later, I still enjoy quilting. I love the idea that my children and their children's children may get to snuggle under blankets I made. I love making quilts for other people; there is something about the labor of love in handmade gifts that I really enjoy. I love the creative process of picking out colors and fabric, deciding on designs, and getting to create something new.

Today, after enjoying a quilting convention with my mom all day, I jumped into a new project with some of the fabric and tools we got at the convention. I began laboriously cutting tons of little hexagons to make a pillow . It was pretty labor intensive and I am still not 100% sure how they are going to be sewn together, but am excited to try something new.

hand made quilt by my great grandmother
When I finally headed upstairs to go to bed, I immediately noticed the beautiful quilt lying on my bed. I have seen this quilt thousands of times in my life, but suddenly it took on a whole new meaning for me. Hexagons. Cut individually and sewn together  (by hand), by my Great Grandmother Myrtle Mullins.

I wish my grandmother was here with me today and I could ask her all of my questions as I venture into this new project;. Until then, hopefully she can laugh from heaven as I make mistakes and smile in knowing I am helping carry her legacy forward.

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