Monday, July 13, 2009

Completed Quilt Project

My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary! They were actually married in June of 1959...but we couldn't find a good day to celebrate in we held the party on Sunday at Bella Restaurant in Dallas, Tx.

My youngest brother is a wine rep, so he arranged for the location, food and wine. I think he did a great job. The place was very nice...and we didn't have to set up or clean up, (which if we'd done it at my parent's church we would have all felt obligated to work.) We for sure didn't want them to work, so we all voted for the restaurant venue.

There were a lot of memories to relive with many old friends and family...I'm sure there were also nay-sayers present that had originally thought, "This will never last!" has. Not too many couples make that transition from marriage, to honeymoon, to reality...3 children within 3 months of marriage. My dad got custody of my brother, sister and I only three months into their new marriage. I know it was hard on my dad and his new wife...but I remember how hard it was for the three of us...before we moved in with them. This transition was difficult for all involved, and it was not an "instant" family, but with time came trust and love.

The Lord is faithful and not only have my parents lasted 50 years together, they have been an example to many others because of their faithfulness and commitment to us and their own family. We are all one family together. We've added spouses, children, grandchildren...we're not perfect, but we love each other and we know we can count on each other...we are Family!

Now to the quilt project. I completed it on Friday. I put new binding and we presented it to Mom and Dad...big surprise.

This is what I started old (circa 1930's) cutter quilt bought at an Antique store for next to nothing.

It was not in great condition, but there was enough good that I knew I could incorporate it into some kind of project. I began by cutting away the rows of blocks along the side edges. There were several rows that were in very bad shape along the edge. Any block that was salvageable was saved and the applique was removed from badly worn blocks. I used two of the better blocks to replace two within the quilt. I removed the appliqued circles from the white blocks within the quilt so I could use this area for my project. (Most of the white fabric had not held up well over the years.)

I replaced this worn block and the one next to it (with the hole) got a new applique over the top.

I printed pictures onto the photo fabric (I used the Blumenthal PhotoFabric - following all directions.) I printed two pictures per page, which helped save paper and the size was more in line with the size of the white blocks.

I began with a picture from my parents wedding, and this became the center of the quilt. In the top left corner and bottom right corner I placed pictures of our grandparents. Working in family groups, I printed a wedding picture from each of the siblings, then pictures of our children/grandchildren. I made sure each picture was large enough to cover any imperfections on the white squares they were stitched onto.

From there I added more pictures of my parents when they were younger, and pictures of them with their parents. I printed enough pictures to cover most of the white blocks were covered.

I left the bottom and top rows blank (not knowing how Mom will want to display this quilt...and knowing that other pictures can be added.) I added new binding along the edge to finish it off.

Each picture was autographed and dated.

We presented the quilt to Mom and Dad...big surprise!

It was a project completed in love.

The old quilt represents what every marriage begins with...a patchwork of two lives that represent the individual beauty of each person. But there are weak spots we try to hide. There are torn and battered parts that make up who we are...imperfect people who come together to build a new life with each other.

On top of that is added the layers of our lives. Children, people, and memories are added as families grow. This begins to build on top of the original layers...adding strength and character to our individual selves and our lives as families.

The quilt now becomes a beautiful covering of prayer, offered up as our Thanksgiving to the Lord for our family. For the individual beauty each person brings to the family, and to the strength we are as one family. The Lord has blessed us and we praise Him!

Isaiah 61:10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.

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