Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Fellow Quilters

gingham and rickrack crazy quilt

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

Yesterday I wrote about how I went to the unveiling of an honour roll that included my late Grandpa, and how I found quilt inspiration there. Today I want to tell you about the other half of that trip. Because the town that we visited is also the home of the only relative I have who loves quilting as much as I do. My great aunt Dorothy.

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 16

Aunty Dorothy is an inspiring person. She has lived through so much, but has never been anything but kind to me. She was always very good to my mum too. She lives in considerable pain, yet still gardens, quilts, and volunteers in her church and community. Aunty Dorothy is a good deal older than 80, but I don’t think she’d like it if I told you exactly how much older……. when I am elderly, I definitely want to be sparky like her! And still quilting too!

How am I inspired by my Aunty Dorothy?

Aunty Dorothy always has a quilt on the go. She has plenty of quilts lying around her place, but I suspect she has given most of her creations away over the years. Yesterday she showed me the quilt she is working on at the moment.

gingham and rickrack crazy quilt

You’d have to be crazy!

There is a story behind this quilt, just like most quilts. Aunty Dorothy is unashamedly using up her stash before anyone can inherit it. And among her things she recently found a box of gingham that had belonged to her late husband’s grandmother! Inside the box was also a collection of white rickrack and a second box of coloured rickrack. According to my great aunt, her husband’s grandmother had always been one for buying things (including gingham aprons) in multiples, maybe even 6 or more!

gingham and rickrack crazy quilt
Red gingham on the back.

Anyway, Aunty Dorothy decided to cut up the gingham and use it to make crazy patchwork squares. She has then embellished all the seams with the rickrack, and now she is putting it all together, quilt-as-you-go. She just has 3 piano-key borders to go to finish the job. On the back she has used the large number of red gingham aprons from the box. And she has still saved the nicest four or so aprons intact!

This is a lovely girl’s quilt design. Perfect for scraps. The white checks and rickrack keep this quilt feeling light and airy. It’s going to be lovely when it’s done and a very big upgrade on the original aprons and rickrack.

Hand-quilting admiration

After we had admired her quilt in progress and I had showed her one of mine, we had a tour of her other quilts. I had seen them before, but my aunt and cousin had not previously had the detailed commentary. This one is my favourite. Hand-stitched and Hand-quilted bed quilt

It is all hand-stitched and hand-quilted. Aunty Dorothy is super proud that not a single machine stitch went into this quilt. She also says that the colour transitions are a result of the quilt taking so long that she couldn’t buy more of the same fabrics – not once but twice.! I am glad, as the quilt has a lot more character as a result and is a testament to Dorothy’s creativity and colour sense.

Hand-stitched and Hand-quilted bed quilt

Hand-stitched and Hand-quilted bed quilt

Now it’s your turn….. Who has inspired your quilting journey? Do you have relatives or friends who add value and enjoyment to your hobby (addiction?). My Aunty Dorothy isn’t to blame for getting me into quilting, but she is now one of my favourite quilting confidantes.

Or perhaps you have a quilt that is better for having had run out of fabric, forcing some creative re-thinking? Let us know.

I hope you are able to share your stitches with other passionate quilters. If not (or even if you do) you are welcome to share with me.

See you again tomorrow!

P.S. Here’s my week’s pick of the fresh quilting inspiration on the internet: Autumn Lattice Quilt by Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts. It is an amazing creation with an open lattice section between the quilt centre and the border. And Laura  generously shares he process in her blog post as well. Highly recommended!

2 Replies to “Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Fellow Quilters”

  1. I wish I could share such a heartwarming story. One of my oldest quilt related memories is how warm I was laying under a patchwork quilt my grandmother had made out of scraps of clothing. It was nothing to compared to what I create today (much warmer than mine) but I sure wish I had that quilt or even a photo of it. It was 3 1/2-4″ blocks, different fabric types and various prints and solids. It was so heavy. That quilt is the reason I only use low loft cotton batting and I suspect it was also the reason I quilt today. I can only hope that my future grandchildren will share that same love of a quilt I made.

    1. Hi Denise, Having someone love your quilts definitely makes all the sewing and agonising over every decision worth it!

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?