One of the fun things for me in traveling around and visiting other quilters is the show and tell they bring to ME!
Last Saturday ((Yes, could it have been a week ago already?!)) Mary Jo brought a very special quilt top to class with her.
The story goes ((Correct me if I'm wrong or missing anything, Mary Jo!)) that Mary Jo spent days and hours pawing over this quilt top on Ebay. And who wouldn't!? You should see the fabrics in it. From what she told me, it dates from the 1800's, was made in England, and it IS in the English paper piecing method. Her hubby took pity on her and bought it for her as a gift. WHAT A GUY!! :cD I think he would be a keeper, don't you?
The funny thing about it is...it starts with "lozenge" shaped hexies in the center...and moves out to regular sized hexies somewhere towards the ends, but they are all different sizes than each other and believe me....this is one quilt that will NEVER QUILT OUT! :cD
Just for sheer perseverance, the maker of this quilt deserves a round of applause! The pieces are SO small, and you should see the prints in it. Just for that reason alone, it is a vintage fabric lover's dream. A catalogue of thousands of prints.
Can you see the center how baggy/saggy it is? LOVE IT! In fact, if you look closely, it bags in the shape of a heart. :cD ((Or is that my eyes doing tricks on me?!))
The papers used on the back were from old letters and such, you can read some of the hand written words. She said she found a date somewhere in there, but I can't remember what the date is.
Believe me...my 3/4" per side hexies looked ginormously gargantuan compared to the pieces in this quilt.
Until I uploaded these pics, I didn't even notice that it is set in what appear to be alternating rows of dark/light/dark/light! Do you think she had a plan for this pattern?
So this leaves us to ponder. Was there one maker who started it? And someone else who tried to finish it? The edges are not even, it was clearly still a "work in progress" How many pieces? I have no idea! How many YEARS did it take someone to do this? Where did her fabrics come from? Her own scrap bag? Family, friends...other quilters....trading perhaps? We'll never know!
What a wonderful piece of quilt history and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to handle it, to fondle it, to read the words on the backing papers, to question and ponder and smile and wonder about the maker and who she was, what she loved, who she loved, what her dreams were, her fears were. What other quilts did she have dancing in her head while she worked on this one long-term project?
It's not about how LONG it takes, really, is it? Again, it's about the wonder and the pleasure and the joy and the journey. Just piece it. Don't worry about the time frame, just do it. Even one hexagon a day...is progress!