Thursday, March 09, 2006

Darcie made a comment that it's a wonder I could lock myself away from Meredith while I was making my first quilt. It wasn't that hard. When we were young we dealt with the 'competition' thing by not doing the same things. She wrote poetry, I wrote prose. She knit lace, I crocheted lace. (One of my boyfriends had the temerity to call my lacemaking 'old-maidery'- he was an ex-boyfriend shortly thereafter.) I embroidered and Meredith painted. We very deliberately chose to do certain thngs and not others, and we were quite happy like that. We both knitted and sewed for clothing, but we made way different things. So while I was in the bedroom sewing, she was in the studio, painting.

However, once I became obsessed with patchwork and quilting I wanted her to share it. How could she miss out on something that was so satisfying and wonderful. It had all our favourite elements; material, colour, drama, drafting tools, office supplies! So I began to nag and nag her.
She was unmoved, watching impassively as over the next few years I made a Cathedral Window, several hexagon tops, appliqued pillows and a satin monstrosity that I threw out before it was half-done.

When we were 22 I began a Double Irish Chain in red, black and white solids. My mother was appalled at the colours, but it was certainly dramatic. Mereth would sit and watch me sew on it, but was in no way inclined to help, until I laid on a sob-story. I would never get it finished unless I had some help!! Finally she agreed to piece a block or two. Then came the quilting, a major affair with a frame balanced on chair backs taking up the whole of our lounge room for an entire winter. Every afternoon we would sit and quilt, mincing our fingertips because we were just learning, and drinking pots of tea. Several chocolate biscuits might have been consumed too. Somewhere along the way Meredith stopped mumbling 'This is Stupid" and fell in love with it.

What kept us going was a British soap opera called Coronation Street. It's still around, but not near as good as it was in 1980. It was a whole hour of drivel and minor crises, and we loved it. But then I used to love Starsky and Hutch too; how incomprehensible.

When that quilt was unpinned from the frame and hung on the clothesline for all to admire we were both utterly hooked; there was no doubt in our minds that this was one thing we had to do together.

7 comments:

mereth 4:24 AM  

Excuse me, we were 19 when we started piecing it (in Yilki, remember) and we were only 21 when we quilted it- birthday's not until oct so we were 21 during the winter of 1980. Sorry to be pedantic, but someone's got to keep you on trsck!

And didn't this quilt have a big black stain from a pen on it? I still think this looks good, even after all these years.

mereth 4:28 AM  

I meant 'keep you on track', didn't I?

Finn 8:47 AM  

Great graphic quilt...so glad you got your twin's arm in a good quilting twist..*G*

Laura 9:46 AM  

What a great story, thanks for sharing!

keryn 9:56 PM  

Sheesh, while I was writing it I thought "Mereth is so going to disagree with this" and I was right. But I stand corrected.

And yes, my DD caused a big black stain from a permanent marker, luckily on the black fabric, but the back is ruined. But I still love it....

Sandra 12:14 AM  

hee hee, great story! I love the dramatic colours (so does my son, but he's partial to red anyway LOL). Glad to hear you got your sister involved in "quiltery" :-)

Darcie 6:23 AM  

What a great story, Keryn! Glad you shared. Thank goodness you two agreed to share quilting...and not...boyfriends or something!

Your quilts below this, on your previous post are awesome! Some fabrics just have to *age* nicely before they can be used and appreciated. If we didn't allow ourselves that, then we wouldn't get to allow ourselves a *stash!*

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