October 12, 2019

Wholecloth Mend


Hello and welcome! In the year 2000, I began a wholecloth quilt. I've always enjoyed quilting, but I found the piecing a bit fussy and hurried through it so that I could get the layers of fabric and batting all basted and then stitch them together in curved and gentle lines. That moment when I finally sat down and inserted my tiny needle into the layers was heaven. Once I did the wholecloth I never pieced another quilt. Instead, I cut right to the stitching that I loved.

That quilt has since been on my bed from the moment I finished it in 2002, every cool night and for every fall and winter nap. Before it even hit the bed it warmed me as I stitched, stretched over my huge quilting hoop, immersed in the rhythm of tiny stitches. Through every stitch, I had a companion who shared my needlework meditation, and I thought of her as I repaired the old quilt. I remembered the night she first came into our lives, filthy and mewling and injured. Her tail was broken and torn, likely from being hit by a car. She was sweet and appreciative as we doused her in peroxide and tried to clean her wound. It was a Friday night and the veterinarian's office was closed so we did the best we could at the time. By Monday morning she had a home.


In the garden - 2008

She was an odd color, a type of Siamese I had never seen before. When I did take her to the vet he told me she was a "flame point" and it made perfect sense. Her points were a soft orange, like a little red-headed kid, and her eyes a crystal blue. She often sat in the front doorway and watched the neighborhood in the sunshine. Her ears glowed the color of a soft rosebud and the letter carrier nicknamed her "Pinky". After all the bottles of peroxide we had poured on her and the soft bleached coloring of her points we named her "Roxie", short for Peroxide. 

Roxie was my close companion for many years, often sitting beside me while I weeded in the garden or watching me cut fabric on the floor, but the one time I knew she would be there was when I sat down to quilt. She would steal up under the big hooped stand and crawl into my lap. No matter how hot it got underneath there she would stick around as long I was stitching. Her life has run its course, but her memory lives in the stitches of that quilt.

The quilting has held well and every bit of the cotton has withstood all of that sleeping and snuggling, except for the binding. That's where I am today, replacing the edge to keep the beloved piece alive. I pulled out the little Singer Featherweight and set it on the counter so that I had plenty of space to work and set to attaching the new binding. It will get folded over the edge and hand-stitched in place. Once again it will warm my lap and I'll remember fond moments that I have enjoyed with it thus far.

  Attaching new binding.

It's clear that the edge was very frayed.

 The quilt is queen sized and needed lots of binding.

It looks like I'll need to embroider a new date onto the quilt as well.

Ready for bedtime.

Beautiful and back on the bed.

Thank you for visiting! Please come again.


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