A New Quilt For Ellen


The first two piece of fabric for Ellen’s new quilt

I knew what I was going to do today.

I turned on the heat, in the upstairs office/guest bedroom as soon as I got up to make sure it would be warm when I was done with chores and breakfast.  I was ready to ship the first batch of Jon’s Photo “Morning Path” that we got from Carolyn at The Image Loft, on Monday.   I even had Jon sign them.

But as I brought the photos back upstairs, a feeling came over me.  Suddenly the idea of sitting at my computer all day, printing labels  and doing paper work, was intolerable.

I began to grind my teeth and felt my shoulders and neck tighten.  My brain screamed “no” and my hands craved to create.

How fortunate I am, I thought, that I get to make the decision about what I do today.  It’s one of the perks of the kind of work I’ve made for myself.

It was  10 degrees and overcast,  no sun would be warming up my studio this morning.  I hadn’t turned the heat in my studio on when I got up as I usually do, because I didn’t think I’d be getting there today.  So I pulled on the layers, three shirts, my warmest dress, a wool sweater, two pairs of leggings, wool socks, a hat and scarf.

Fate curled herself into a ball in Bud’s small bed in my studio and I warmed my hands on a cup of hot Ginger tea.

There was no place I’d rather be.

Ellen had emailed me a month or so ago saying that the woman who cleans her house put the quilt I made for her in the washer… ” and the wool shrunk rather magnificently. This caused all the top fabric to curl. It’s small and looks cozy over the back of the loveseat but it has lost its ability to wrap me in a big soft cocoon.”

With most of my quilts this wouldn’t matter, but Ellen’s quilt had wool batting in it.   She asked if I could make her another quilt.

I’ve been thinking about making Ellen another quilt since she emailed me.  But I wasn’t feeling it until today, when it was all I wanted to do.

I pulled up an image of Ellen’s quilt on Pinterest.  She loved that quilt and although I couldn’t replicate it (not that she was asking for that) I could get a feeling for it and see some of the fabrics that I used that I still had pieces of.

Solstice, Ellen”s Orignal quilt

I began the quilt, as always, with two pieces of fabric.  Both were from the fabric I used in the first quilt.  An old hand sewn quilt square from a quilt top and one of the last pieces I had from a set of drapes probably from the 1950’s.

It took me a while to get my head in the right place for working after the holidays.  But it came, as always, one piece of fabric at a time.

This is what the quilt looked like when I left my studio this evening.

I know I’m going to have to raid Jon’s shelf for some of his old jeans.  I do the laundry, so I know he only wears the top three pairs.  If I didn’t mention it, he’d never even know.

But I like to tell him that I’m stealing his old jeans to put in my quilt.  It’s more fun that way.



2 thoughts on “A New Quilt For Ellen

  1. I like it. I looks a bit like a Hired Man quilt, the kind a farm wife would make for utility and warmth, but they usually came out like art anyway.
    By the way, when I worked at Old Sturbridge Village, we had a replica quilt shrink in cleaning. Not the pieces, but the quilting thread. I had to find a volunteer to pick out every single quilt stitch. And I found a woman who was willing to do it. For free. Gratis. Holy crud!
    As a reward, I got one of the conservators to take her along on a research trip to Lowell. The volunteer thought she’d gotten the better part of that deal.
    That’s devotion.

    1. That’s a great story Mary Jean. I can understand how that woman must have felt. Must have been fun working at Sturbridge Village. Ellen’s quilt need to be cozy, so that’s good.

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