Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mennonite Girl in a Church Basement: A Quilt

I began this quilt three years ago when my Aunt Nancy decided to give me a bag of patches and a mostly-completed quilt top.  It was fabric from her childhood clothes, and she had pieced it when she was a young woman.



I was instantly drawn to the chaos of colors and loose organization.  I unified the quilt by using green perle cotton for handquilting on the front, mint-green backing, and green striped binding.  The name of the quilt refers to Aunt Nancy, the Mennonite girl as she was then, and the mint-green color of many plain Mennonite church cement-block basements back then (I haven't been in one for a while - maybe it's changed).




This is the second quilt I've made where I used three methods of quilting, and I'm really pleased with the texture and interesting creative process.  I don't get bored with it, even on a queen-sized quilt like this (the other quilt was for my mother, and the first time I used the felted ties was on this comforter).

I couldn't wait for the perfect cloudy day to photograph the quilt, so that's why it shows the sunlight and shadows.
Now, I started this quilt just because I loved the fabric so much, but I didn't have a plan for it when it was done.  In fact, it languished for a year because I didn't have a goal for it.


This spring, I knew that it needed to go to my cousin April, Aunt Nancy's youngest daughter.  So I told April I had a late birthday present for her, finished the quilt as I said her name to God over the stitches, and then we visited her in Philadelphia.  She was surprised and delighted and in literal need of a blanket.  Furthermore, she loves folky unique style like this for which I am grateful, because I have a fierce love for things that are not traditionally pretty or trendy. I wanted her to have the quilt because of her mother, but I wanted it to be loved for itself, too.


I am satisfied.  Happy.  And ready to begin another quilt!

15 comments:

Jennifer Jo said...

I totally remember the pale green cement blocks.

Also, your cousin is beautiful! (And the quilt is, too!)

Alica said...

What a thoughtful gift! Although I love green, I'm so glad that"Mennonite Church green" has gone away in many churches..although I'm also rather tired of mauve. :)

beth s said...

I'm so happy this WONDERFUL quilt found the perfect home.

Leisha said...

That is abeautiful quilt and a beautiful story of the quilt. Such a treasure for your cousin .

Hazel said...

That's such a lovely gift, she must have been thrilled. And I love the look of the quilt.

Tammy said...

So pretty and unique, and what a special gift!

jenny_o said...

Oh, Margo! I love this story! AND the quilt. I prefer wild to tamed also. What a perfect gift for your cousin.

Polly said...

What a great gift!!! I love it when something is being made and then it sort of presents to you where it needs to go. Divine nudging, that's what. April is a lucky girl!

Becky said...

I love the quilt and I love the story!

That green was also the color of Catholic school classrooms, hallways and the cafeteria. It was pretty popular back in the day.

BLD in MT said...

What a wonderful quilting tale! I am impressed and its so great when the fruits of your hands and labors is appreciated by the right recipient. Simply wonderful.

Betty said...

I love these quilts and such good memories stitched into each one.

sarah e. said...

The quilt is just lovely, and the tale of how it became and where it ended up makes it all especially satisfying. I love it!

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

So very nice of you to give the quilt to your Aunt's daughter. Know she will treasure it.

e said...

I'm chiming in late on this one, but Oh, how I love this quilt! I love the story, I love that it is a two-woman, two generation project. I love the quirkiness of the design. I love that you '...said her name to God over the stitches..' I do that too. Quilting is so meditative.

The quilt is beautiful. The picture of you and your cousin smiling and holding up the quilt is the best.

Love to you and yours...

Nancy said...

Margo, you know my heart was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for this gift to my daughter. You are an amazing woman and daughter of God!

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