Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Some of my projects take longer than others. This bright crazy Apron Strings Quilt has been in progress since 1995. Some years I put the box away and worked on other handwork. I may not work quickly but I am persistent. This past weekend, I sewed the last stitches of the binding.

My copy of the Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, circa 1980, that published the pattern is long gone. As I recall, there was a line drawing of a block without any specific instructions for overall design. No matter, I began piecing scraps. I sewed the four patches and half square triangles by machine and then hand stitched the four units into blocks. About midway through piecing, I decided to arrange small squares of the four patches so the colors marched diagonally across the quilt. I numbered the color combinations, made a diagram, and pieced accordingly. I sewed rows of blocks together by hand and sewed rows together by machine. After finishing the top, I cobbled together a backing from large leftover pieces of fabric with parts of a quilt that never fit together.

Most of the scraps in the quilt come from other sewing projects and quilts. Several blocks contain a red, white, and blue print from a quilt my Mom made for our son. She pieced an Ohio Star crib quilt for him in 1981-1982. Other scraps come from a good teacher friend, now in her 80's. On the first day of a teaching assignment, I walked by her first grade classroom. She was reading the picture book, Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt to her class. At the end of the day, I introduced myself and we have been friends ever since. I pieced blocks on a trip my daughter and I took to commemorate her 21st birthday and my 50th birthday. My mother and I sat in the shade at Mahoney State Park as I stitched on blocks and she worked on counted cross stitch. Our extended family was together celebrating my parents' forty-fifth anniversary with my siblings and families.

This summer I took the quilt to a woman who does beautiful machine quilting. The drive out to her old gracious farmhouse is part of finished the quilt. After she finished, I sewed scraps together to make the binding. Two long pieces of binding are leftover from a quilt I made for my daughter when she was five years old. The day I finished stitching the binding, our son and oldest grandson arrived for the weekend. My husband joined them as A. attended his first Nebraska football game. The next morning, he helped me hold the quilt over the railing for a photo.

Lives and quilts stitched from pieces and memories are so very good.


  1. what a fabulous photo (last one!) gorgeous! I love how quilts tell a story. My mom made me one while I was a teen and it has scraps from clothes she made me and my sister growing up. I have that quilt and I smile when I pull it out.

    lovely work, Jane!!

  2. what a lovely story!!! and one that will retell itself every time you look at the quilt. well worth the wait....and love it took to finish.

  3. So nice to have closure on a project! It turned out beautifully. That Montana trip is a great memory.
    Love you.