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Thread: The Seven Year Stitch

  1. #1
    TheSevenYearStitch's Avatar
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    I've remarked before that my mother always insisted on cutting out each piece and never did any strip quilting. As you're about to see, she would have been able to do a lot more quilting had she not insisted on cutting out each square individually. Somehow, she got hung up on doing the same design, over and over and over again, literally until the day she died.

    The History

    My mom did many quilt tops in her day, but she never learned to finish them. She had a standing arrangement with her Aunt Thelma (who I refer to as "That Old Battle-Axe!) who had a long arm sewing machine. My mom would make quilt tops, maybe about 5 in a row, and send them to That Old Battle-Axe to finish. Payment was made in quilts. That Old Battle-Axe would keep as many as she wanted and send back whatever she didn't. She didn't ever send but a few back. Because of this, we have very few of my mom's quilts. Who knows whatever happened to the ones that were kept. Maybe that's why my mom stuck with a simple design, over and over. She just wanted to get them back!

    After the Old Battle-Axe died, my mom stopped quilting and didn't start up again for years. She finally decided to learn to finish her own, but died before she could do it. A little while after she died, my dad gave me all of her fabric (which was mostly hideous, I'm afraid to say) and a stack of squares she had sewn for a quilt.

    My mother never taught me how to sew. She didn't have the patience and was a little intimidating about it. For years, I would take her squares out of the rubbermaid tub I had them in and look over the stitches, examine them, and marvel at how PERFECT they were. I also thought about how angry she would be if I dared to mess them up.

    I did sewing projects here and there, and finally got myself quilting about 6 years after she died. I worked on some baby quilts and small projects and finally pulled out her squares to finish the quilt so my dad could have it for Christmas.

    I finished the quilt exactly 7 years and 1 day after she died. I learned a lot finishing that quilt, especially that I don't have to be a perfect seamstress to quilt. It's not the fanciest--probably the most ordinary looking quilt you'll see on these boards. But our quilt, which I call The Seven Year Stitch, represents a lot :)

    What she left behind
    Name:  Attachment-241481.jpe
Views: 37
Size:  50.8 KB

    Quilting as simply as I can--she wasn't a fan of fancy
    Name:  Attachment-241482.jpe
Views: 37
Size:  47.2 KB

    The finished product!
    Name:  Attachment-241483.jpe
Views: 36
Size:  62.8 KB

  2. #2
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    it's beautiful. i love the white you used to frame each block. it really sets off the blocks. and you do have a wonderful memory of your mother.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Very nicely done and a wonderful tribute to your mom.

  4. #4
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    Our mothers were all complex people in many ways. I'm glad that you faced your Mom's memory and were able to finish that quilt. It is now a beautiful and useful object.

    In a way, I feel sorry for the quilters who don't see beyond 'the rules' and the striving for perfection. I quilt because I like it, both the process and the finished product. I refuse to do anything because someone tells me I must. Had enough of that in my working life!

  5. #5
    TheSevenYearStitch's Avatar
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    It's pretty plain, but I think seeing that quilt over and over has inspired me to try lots of new things! She had finished another top that's a miniature of that one. If the hubby and I ever have a bambino, I'll finish it and the little one can have a baby quilt from their grandma :)

  6. #6
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    Your mom loves it.

  7. #7
    Super Member cowgirlquilter's Avatar
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    Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous.

  8. #8
    Senior Member anothernancy's Avatar
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    What a wonderful quilt! The first quilt I made I cut out all the squares by hand (queen size) because that is how my grandmother did it. This quilt is a wonderful memonto from your mother and you. You did a beautiful job!

  9. #9
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    I think it turned out wonderful!! U both did a great job!!

  10. #10
    np3
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    Very Pretty!

  11. #11
    Senior Member coloradosky's Avatar
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    Beautiful story, beautiful quilt.

  12. #12
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    The quilt is beautiful. I know your dad will love it.

  13. #13
    Power Poster
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    beautiful quilt and a nice story behind it thanks for sharing

  14. #14
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    Wonderful story behind a beautiful quilt. I still love brightly colored blocks framed in white the best. You can't beat simplicity!

  15. #15
    tmg
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    Beautiful quilt.Your dad will love it.

  16. #16
    Super Member jpmaroni's Avatar
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    Love the colors, you should be proud of yourself!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    You've started my day with a smile.... and a tear in my eye. That was a beautiful story, and your Dad is going to LOVE that quilt! :-D

  18. #18
    Senior Member vbourck's Avatar
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    Great story and a quilt to treasure. Wonderful that you have finally finished this project and have learned some valuable life lessons- from your mom! Thanks for sharing the quilt and the story.

  19. #19
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    Beautiful and a wonderful memory

  20. #20
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Beautiful quilt and wonderful story.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Homespun's Avatar
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    Wonderful story and quilt. Keep it up! Simple is sometimes the best!

  22. #22
    Super Member Phannie1's Avatar
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    What a gift of sharing. If she had finished it, you could not have finished it. It would have been just "Mom's quilt." Now it is Yours and Her quilt.

  23. #23
    Super Member heather1949's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erstan947
    Very nicely done and a wonderful tribute to your mom.
    I have a tear in my eye. :thumbup:

  24. #24
    Super Member karenm36's Avatar
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    Love the way you finished this quilt. Your Mom would have been so proud! It's beautiful! And BTW, I'm a huge fan of simplicity...and you honored this so nicely in the way you did this quilt.

  25. #25
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candy Apple Quilts
    You've started my day with a smile.... and a tear in my eye. That was a beautiful story, and your Dad is going to LOVE that quilt! :-D
    Same here... a smile and a few tears. Beautiful tribute to your mother. She would be so proud of you.

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