Tess’ Violet Tablecloth Quilt

tess' table cloth quilt

I started making the quilt from the tablecloth last week.  It’s been just about a year since I got the tablecloth and a letter in the mail from Tess.  I had agreed to make her grandmother’s tablecloth, with violets on it, into a quilt.  My plan was to have it done by January 2014.  That obviously didn’t happen, but  Tess seems fine with the timeline.  It’s one of the last few commissions I took.

So last week, I laid the tablecloth out on my floor and pulled the purple and yellow fabrics from my shelves and tossed them on the floor.  Then I cut up the tablecloth.  It was bigger than I thought it would be and I was wondering how I would use it all.  So many options, really with a piece of fabric that size, so to narrow it down, I started cutting.  Squares and strips then started with a square.

Violets, like lavender, like pansies.  They can be old lady flowers,delicate, soft and lady-like.  But to me they have an interior strength.  Hardy and prolific they will dominate a lawn or garden if you let them. And this is the part of the violet I wanted to come through in this quilt.  Because I have come to know Tess pretty well and I imagine the rest of the women in her family are like her, and like the violet.  Tough enough to be able to be soft when she needs to be.

So this is how it went….

tess' table cloth quilt 2I added some strong lines and colors, pulling it back and forth between lavender calico, deep purples and yellows….

tess' table cloth quilt 3I finished it up by bringing it back to the violet tablecloth around the edges.  Then I made the backing, centering on the piece of tablecloth that didn’t fit on the front.

The Violet Table Cloth was Tess’ grandmother’s favorite.  I like to think she’d be happy with what I’m doing  with it.

14 thoughts on “Tess’ Violet Tablecloth Quilt

  1. Beautiful! I know this quilt will be loved for many many years. Have you ever read the short story ‘Everyday Use’by Alice Walker? This quilt reminds me of that story. So nice, it must be used, every day.

  2. Another gorgeous quilt Maria. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Tess is very fortunate to have the tablecloth used in such a lovely piece!

  3. You have such a good eye for positioning and color! Tess will be extremely happy with this remembrance of her grandmother. I also love what you said about violets & pansies–they are indeed strong flowers, not at all what they are stereotyped as!

  4. I, too, think of violets as strong flowers—-early treasures peeking through the grass. Violets make me smile. I can never pull them up even when they choose to grow where I didn’t expect to find them. This quilt is also a treasure.

    Thank you for sharing your creative process with us. What a privilege to be included.

    LG

  5. Oh my gosh! That’s my grandmother’s tablecloth! Hers is just like it which I now have. I have used it giving fancy “teas” to residents in nursing homes along with some of her other tablecloths. Lovely seeing it again in a new context.

  6. Love your use of color and shape in the quilt design! The Gee’s Bend influence comes through, so gorgeous.
    We named our shy dog Maggie after one of the daughters in “Everyday Use”. 🙂

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