A customer (and friend) brought a vintage quilt top pieced by her grandmother. This quilt top had been stowed away for many years. Could I finish it? I would be honored to give it some life.
Close inspection revealed sturdy seams and intact cloth. Made in the traditional manner at the time, pieces of clothing salvaged from mostly worn out or outgrown garments supplied the majority of material.
I often look to the fabric for a quilting design inspiration. This top included mostly stripes and plaids, with a few floral or prints scattered throughout. I was going to need more help and input from the customer.
Not wanting to add heavy quilting, we looked at some basic designs made of feathery loops and swirls but none seemed to be right. I often use a basic looping pattern that can have custom designs added, an option worth exploring.
I asked the customer what she thought of when remembering Grandmother. Lucky the dog, gardening, homemade strawberry jam, and baking chocolate chips were at the top of the list. I already had pawprint (Lucky the dog) and flower (gardening) designs.
We thought about just a strawberry, but why not have it label a jam jar?
The chocolate chip cookies were tricky. I searched and found a baking icon that was the basic inspiration for the oven mitt and cookie tray design.
Fairly quickly, the custom designs were created and dropped into the looping pattern. With the okay from the customer, it was time for quilting.
Simple custom designs truly can make a quilt top more meaningful. Not only can the fabrics evoke memories, but, in this instance, the stitches are reminders of Grandmother in the garden, in the kitchen and with Lucky the dog.