Southern Comfort

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I was just thrilled yesterday to get helpful advice from Martha at Q is for Quilter
 about transferring difficult quilt patterns to the quilt sandwich. I'm going to try her suggestion, which involves tracing the pattern onto thin plastic and then cutting it out so it can be traced around. 

In the meantime, I think these little pineapples are coming along nicely--these vintage patterns (I got from Q is for Quilter) are just darling and they are making this quilt project extra special.

We bought a pineapple Christmas tree ornament in Charleston this summer. Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality and what could be more Southern than to stitch one (or four--or sixteen!) on a quilt?

This quilt has a good backstory in that it's another family quilt that never got finished. My stepdad's mother made the squares sometime in the 1990s, I'm guessing, but I'm not really sure. Some of the fabrics seem extra old, but some seem more contemporary. She passed away in 2000 and the quilt squares sat in a closet until last December.

Around Christmas, my mom gave me an enormous cathedral square quilt that my Grandma Hazel had made for her and my dad in 1984. She said, oh we have this unfinished quilt, too, if you want it.

Of course, I did want it. I do want it. It's gorgeous! And classic! And pink (in places)!

I used a machine to sew the squares to sashing on Jan. 1 and have been plugging away at the handquilting ever since. Because I've never hand quilted anything before and because the woman who originally made it had to have been born in the 1920s or so, I want it to feel like it was lovingly stitched for endurance. No surprise that I've messed up some spots along the way, but nothing that can't be ripped out and done again.

The backing is Betty Dear by Robert Kaufman because I like the historic look of a calico backing fabric--and the pattern is gorgeous! I bought enough to sew myself a 1950s inspired dress. I think I hit the mark a little too closely, though, because when I wore the dress into public (with red lipstick) a little girl asked me if I was Maria in WestSide Story.

 

See what I mean?

More soon, dears.

Stay tuned for updates on the apple trees.