My two sisters and I were born in a 32- month span and the quilter is the youngest. Having grown up in the shadow of a couple of over-achievers (one of whom is also a neurotic borderline OCD), she is not as confident about her abilities and creativity as I would like her to be. So, this quilt was to lie quietly in my collection and never be allowed to let others see my sister shine the way I see her.
Without telling her -- after all, she gave the quilt to me. I can do with it as I wish -- I entered it in the county fair. And of course, she took first prize (We have a very small county -- she won $3). And now I have posted it to the internet for the entire world to see.
We go to any quilting show within 100 miles of home and we see some excellent hand-quilting, but we also see some less skillful work, too. She never sees her own work as being anywhere near equal to that of others.
When she was little, I always envied her fantastic imagination. I was always totally logical and practical and was never able to reach that magical kingdom that she lived in. When I see her quilt stitches become slightly uneven or wander a bit off the intended line, I wonder what treasure did her mind find at that moment and where did that new trail take her. So, I trace her stitching with my finger and try to follow her into the magic places I pray she still finds.
I hope anyone who examines the hand-quilting of another wonders about what that person was thinking and experiencing with each stitch made and follow them into their world. Every quilt is full of stories.