Sunday, November 9, 2008

Stitching Magic

This is my sister's first quilt -- her original design, hand-quilted and made as a gift for me!  

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.


  1. The quilt is beautiful - the blue sashing makes the blocks really stand out. I can't hand quilt large quilts any more because of arthritis but I wish I could. There's just something about the rhythm of the stitching that relaxes you completely. I hope your sister continues to quilt - I don't think anyone ever thinks their work is as good as others. :) blessings, marlene

  2. Yes, it is a very pretty quilt. My hand quilting is kind of like WV roads, very curvy and uneven. I always say its the thought and love put into a quilt that matters. I have never had the nerve to enter mine into our quilt show or county fair, mine doesn't compare to all the beautiful ones entered.

  3. Hi Carol! You won the dog collar! Email me at to claim your prize. :)


  4. Carol, you've been tagged. Go to my site, copy the rules and then list 6 random facts about you on your blog.

  5. The quilt is lovely, Carol. Your sister is certainly gifted.

    Good luck to you with moving. We've been here over 30 yers and I shudder at what it would take to get us moved.

  6. you are so right -every quilt does tell a story ;) and sadly soo many people do not appreciate that especailly these days.

    What a wonderful story you shared about this beautiful gift your sister made for you - perhaps the whole time she was making it she was thinking of your all's younger years of growning up together ;) oh how lucky you 3 sisters are to have had one another. I always wished for a sister growin up.... and now am so greatful my 2 girls have each other. ;)

    and small town fair or not - only $3!!! for 1st place!!! really? Do the judges know anyhting about quilting, you can't even buy a spool of thread for that much! What a shame the award was not a little more.... Like $300 cash or even gift card to a local quilt store!

    Thanks for sharing - does your sister have any clue you entered it? or posted about for all of us?

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie