cake and quilts

Sometimes I just need a little color, a little light. Last week I needed to make use of some leftover frosting and somehow came to the conclusion that it was very necessary to spend my already precious free-time decorating a chocolate cake with all of the sprinkles I could get my hands on. I barely got a taste of it. But it came from a box so I’ll live.

When I find myself desperately throwing color everywhere it’s a sure sign that we’re in the depths of winter.

—–

A more serious project that I’ve been involved in lately is a quilt. Two of my most important possessions are quilts. I have one from each side of my family. They lived on my bed at home while I was in college but I’ve had both with me since moving to Portland.

My version of the history of my favorite of the two goes like this: My dad’s mother made a quilt for the wedding of every one of her children. She was making a quilt for him to celebrate his marriage to my mother but very unfortunately died shortly before they were married and never finished it. His sister, my Aunt Kate, bravely took on the task of finishing it for him and he has cherished it ever since. It’s probably quite wrong of me to keep it, but I love it too much.

So many tiny pieces. The intricacy makes me wonder how long she took, what conversations were had around it, and where she kept it when she wasn’t working on it. It makes me feel like I had almost met her.

The second of the two was stolen from my mother’s mother’s house. My grandfather, Papa Lew, lived there too of course, but it was always referred to as Grandma Honey’s house (even to this day when she’s been gone for almost 5 years, I still refer to it as her house… I wonder if that annoys Papa…). Papa Lew’s mother, Great Grandma Mac, quilted non-stop until she died. Grandma Honey’s house had quilts draped on all of the railings and on the foot of every bed. I snuck my favorite into my suitcase one Thanksgiving and no one blinked. It’s been with me since.

This one is huge. It easily spans a queen-sized bed (not that we have one..) and it often follows me from the bed to the couch on lazy days like today.

So that brings me to my first quilt. I’ve always wanted to make one and with the gift of a sewing machine this past summer I knew the time had come. My patience and attention is somewhat fleeting when it comes to crafts, so I decided to make my first with the machine as much as possible and to also use giant blocks of fabric to move along swiftly.

These strips obviously aren’t sewn together yet, but that’s on my to-do list today. I only had enough floor-space to lay out from the middle down. A row of the dark green will be above the diamonds followed by a row of the light green.

So far, so good. I’m not using any sort of pattern, though I did sketch the design out before buying fabric and I did use a great fabric calculator to find how much was needed. Each square is about 12″ by 12″. I haven’t decided what the border color should be. Maybe a dark blue..? I’m planning on using a light flannel for the back piece to make it extra warm.

Because it’s machine sewn I’m hoping that it’ll stand up to the constant attention it will surely receive in this house. Maybe then I’ll be able to put away the other two to keep them safe for another 20 years.

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3 thoughts on “cake and quilts

  1. 1) Maybe we should have cake the next time we have a puzzle party. I don’t eat nearly enough of it.
    2) I’m hopefully going to buy the last pieces of fabric for it tomorrow! I’m way too excited.
    3) They are pretty awesome people, so I’m happy that the names seem to fit.

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