Saturday, January 16, 2010

Remember when I was twitching the other day? This top is the reason why. I made this top over two years ago. I was still a new quilter and didn't know anything! I had originally planned to donate this quilt (once finished) to the Ami Simms Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. However, she has ceased taking large quilts and now only accepts small ones. So, this quilt has sat in my closet since Dec '07.

So, what's the big deal with this quilt, anyway? My husband's grandfather passed away of Alzheimer's right before our first son was born. He had been declining for years and the death wasn't unexpected, but it did send shock waves through the family. So, I made this quilt in honor of Barney (Barnes Everett Mauk). I made three additional blocks and have them framed individually. One for Jason, one for his father and one for his aunt.

See, Barney loved plaid. He loved to dress in the most obnoxious way he could find. He mixed plaid with everything. Every.Thing. The tackier the better. So, I stumbled upon some funky plaid wrapping paper and knew that was what I had to use. That's also why I used so many different plaids in the quilt top.

I didn't get the quilt top done that year as I had hoped and then (as mentioned above) Ami stopped accepting large quilts. I wasn't sure what to do with it at that time, so I did nothing. I thought about selling it and donating the money to Ami's project, but that just didn't feel right. In the end, I decided to gift the finished quilt to my husband and send a donation to Ami. And it became a permanent UFO. Well, its on the top of my list for 2010.

So what's with the twitching? Remember I said I didn't know what I was doing, right? I pulled this quilt top out the other day, pieced the back and went about to press & baste it. I'm not sure I pressed a single seam in the entire top when I made this thing. So many seams have been flipped and turned by cross seams, its all homespun fabric, so they are unravelling at the speed of light. This quilt top had more strings than a piece of wilty celery. So, I spent several hours trimming up the strings and pressing each block and each seam individually. Then I was sick of looking at it so I folded it up and set in on my sewing table. Which means when I pull it out this afternoon, I'll probably have to repress it. AGAIN! (I'm thinking just a quick quilt in the ditch, the top is so busy anything else would be lost, what do you think?) But I want it finished for my husband. It means a lot to him as he was very close to his grandfather growing up. My only regret is that I didnt' meet this amazing man until the disease had already taken control of his mind and body. The stories my father in law tell about his father could fill volumes. This one's for you, Barney.


  1. this is a touching story as my husband's grandmother is now declining in health due to dementia and alzheimer. i also wish that i had know her while she was in her prime and not as she is now. it is so heartbreaking hearing of the woman she was and not being able to know her that way. i am sure your husband will love this quilt.

  2. It is a really great quilt and a great story. I'd definitely just stitch in the ditch -- being such a manly quilt anyway you don't need a stipple or feathers or anything.

  3. I love this story. Can you meander fairly easily. The only reason I would do that is to secure the seams and keep it from unraveling more.