Quilter’s Name: Bette Miller from Fleming Island, Florida
Type of Quilt: Quilt-As-You-Go
Name of Pattern: Original Design
Featured Date: 10-04-23
I have enclosed a picture of my quilt honoring my grandma “Martha”. Can you guess what her unusual gift was? You’ll find hints in the story.
Have you ever come across one of those “Gifts”, from grandma, that you’re not quite sure what to do with? Deep in my cedar chest I had such a gift, and I wasn’t quite sure even what it was. My grandma had a farm, that I used to visit as a child. She had a few milking cows, chickens and a barn full of kittens. She had a beautiful flower garden and outside her kitchen window was her clothesline. My grandma lost her husband in a car accident when she was just 47. Alone with seven children, she sold fresh eggs, milk, and butter from her farm. Bottled pickles from her vegetable garden and worked at the bakery nearby. There was always a quilt set up on frames in her basement, of which in her spare time she hand quilted quilts. How many? Who knows? Plenty went to those in need, and each of her children, their children and each grandchild and great- grandchild received her warmth and love to wrap themselves up in.
Hi, my name is Bette Miller, and I live in Florida. I started making doll clothes when I was about seven. Mom would give us her scraps, (she made most of our clothes). Later, when I was about 13, I learned to use mom’s old Singer sewing machine. I sewed most of my clothes and went on to sew for my children. I also made lots of dolls and stuffed animals. I tied lots of quilts, and sewed a few panels into quilts, of which I quilted using decorative stitches on my sewing machine. I retired and took my first quilting class. I made a small applique, landscape wall hanging. That was three years and 37 quilts ago. Now the quilting bug has hit me!
About the quilt: The quilt is made of blocks, as a “quilt as you go” quilt. In the center of the quilt I sewed with a decorative stitch along the outer edge of the clothespin bag, leaving the loop at the top unattached to the quilt. Each block contains a piece of fusible interfacing, which acts as a stabilizer when sewing decorative stitches. Except for the vegetable fabric used in the mason jar pattern, most of the fabric is scraps from previous sewing projects. I couldn’t find any fabric that reminded me of dishtowels, so the fabric behind the mason jars, is from a dishtowel. Because the dishtowels were loosely woven, I did find them harder to quilt. I probably should have used a fusible behind them also.
Answer: Clothespin bag (middle of quilt) hand stitched by my grandma
Fleming Island, FL
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