Saturday, August 04, 2007

Old quilt

I mentioned the other day that I had made a quilt for my uncle years ago, and that it ended up on the wall instead of in his armchair. I just scanned some old photos of it, not the best quality, but I thought I'd show and tell anyway.

My uncle is one of those people who hoards everything "just in case". He is an electrician (semi-retired, but he'll probably never stop tinkering with those wires...) and has always been repairing things for other people. Ever since he bought his first used car he has always been repairing cars as well and gathering spare parts to use for future repairs. He lives in a flat in town with little spare room, so it's the little house in the country, where my gran grew up, which has to hold all these objects he holds on to. Or rather the old smithy/outhouse/barn next to it.

My uncle loves the place, and when I was planning the quilt for him I knew I wanted to incorporate it. I also wanted to comment on his hoarding instinct, so I made the smithy with an extra layer of batting and walls that curved outwards. There are car parts, a washing machine, tires and I don't know what spilling out of the doors. I made the garden in a riot of green floral fabric - my gran used to plant flowers, trees and bushes everywhere (it used to be a nightmare to cut the grass - you'd alway worry about being yelled at for cutting down a sapling or something...).
I was thinking about adding some kind trailing vine or something like that, but ended up adding trailing electrical extension cords and some of the tools of his trade: a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a torchlight instead. Fishing has always been a favourite hobby of his, so I also added a border with appliqued fish (cod, haddock and salmon drawn from photos in one of my mother's cookery books), making this a very personal quilt.
My uncle loved the quilt from the moment he set eyes on it - exclaiming that it couldn't have been made for anyone else but him, and he burst out laughing when he noticed the bulging walls of the smithy - my little joke at his expense. The quilt has pride of place on the wall of the living room in the little white house it portrays and he always shows it proudly to anyone who visits, commenting on every detail. He still phones from time to time exclaiming about little details he has noticed, telling me how he loves it. You have to love a guy like that!
This is one of the quilts I feel most proud of having made as well - I loved the whole process of coming up with ideas of elements to incorporate in it. This all came back to me when I was working on the Grandmother's garden quilt last week, I really need to spend more time developing my own quilt ideas, it is so much fun!

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