I have quilts to share with you from Jazz…
“WARNING: This post will shock (but I hope, not offend) at least a few readers.
Jo, once you told me that you did not keep an account of what projects you sent volunteer finishers, or when they were mailed. I also have not kept a record, although it seems as if the first package delivered from you was years ago. It was a big box, crammed with some of the most gorgeous flimsies, fabrics, and works-in-progress I had ever experienced. One of my favorites was a bunny made with 2 ½” x 2 ½” squares on a dark green background. Several tops were meticulously pieced and pressed by artist Joann of San Francisco Bay.
As I finished them and sent pictures, packed the quilts up, and donated them, you and your legions of fans sent me more. And more. And the unfinished projects became covered in a pile by newer ones.
Today I am sharing photographic evidence that I am, indeed, dedicated to retrieving the buried treasures of the previous era. The donors were unnamed, but their work has been immortalized into completed quilts. It might be quite startling to view them, especially if the makers lost ago despaired of ever seeing them finished, but on my word, I have not ever forgotten or lost them. They’ve just been … inaccessible.
This one arrived as individual blocks, with page 3 (only) of instructions titled 2006 Setting First Friday. There was no picture or context for the directions that referred to “ … layer the strip sets right sides together nesting the seams. Assemble as you would a nine-patch …” without size or other details noted. No strips or triangles, either. I auditioned several of my own fabrics and decided on the sashing and binding the squares in rows to show them off.
Here is a close-up of one of the richly colored squares. Each one was obviously thoughtfully selected for maximum punch and saturation.
I stitched in the ditch and backed it with a neutral calico from my stash.
It finished at 36” x 46” and is packed away to be delivered to the hospitals of Harris Health, the most populous county in Texas and geographically bigger than the state of Rhode Island. Many of its patients are un- or underinsured, so the need for volunteers and donations is never fully met.
The next quilt is…
also a staggering blast from the past, and when I found it, I realized it had been an old favorite all along. It was a very nice surprise, like running into an old friend you thought you had lost track of. It came to me in that first bundle, too, but it was a beautifully finished top, a refreshing light blue and green. I used the batting you sent and backing from my stash. I stitched in the ditch to “puff up” the clean, geometric shapes. It is 48” x 60”, a good size for a big kid or an adult, which is a new need expressed by the hospital system’s donations coordinator.
Almost as old is this lap quilt made from a pillowcase. A follower of your blog offered it to me almost apologetically after reading that I use “anything” to fashion quilts from. It was printed with this spray of flowers. and I bordered it with a scrap of green, then the blue pansies given me by Sue R, of Pearland (near Houston) last January, a yellow from my stash and bound with a perfect yellow and grey print from Becky M, who lives in Alaska but spends time in Whitney, Texas, too. Both Becky and Sue donated pounds and pounds of the prettiest and nicest feeling fabrics to me. I love them so much I save them for special projects.
Since this is not a baby design, I handstitched around the flowers and added colored glass beads to accent the blossoms to decorate as a wheelchair-sized quilt.
As I was considering my plans for the back, received a heavy box of assorted flannels with no return address, only a note enclosed saying, “Jo said to send you this.” In it was this perfect, luscious mint green piece that was just entirely perfect for the back. (There was quite a lot more, too, all of which will be incorporated into backs for upcoming finishes.)
I still have quilts to complete and show you from some previous mailings you sent me, Jo. If the ones you’ve been wondering about aren’t in this dispatch, they will be in the next. It’s important to me to assure you and all your readers that I am deeply appreciative of all your generosity and that every single donation makes it into a quilt for a patient at Ben Taub Hospital or L.B.J. Hospital here in Houston, Texas, even if it takes a shockingly long time!”
Thanks so much to Jazz for working on these. No need to apologize. I think we all deal with projects that get buried. I certainly do!! I also believe that everyone who donates is completely understanding…after all, most are donating fabric that they too, buried at one point in time.
A big shout out to everyone who has sent Jazz goodies. I really appreciate it so much.