Monday, January 19, 2009
When I started teaching and sharing my passion of wholecloth linen quilts with others my husband, Kent, made the comment "well you know you've started something and pretty soon there will be linen quilts showing up at the shows. They will probably need to create a whole new category just because they are so different". Well he was right. In the past two years two of my students have had linen quilts juried in major shows with very good remarks from the judges. I have been teaching at Road to California this past week and was thrilled beyond words to see that a wholecloth linen quilt received the Judges Choice Award! It was even better that it was Patty Latourell that won the award. This couldn't have gone to a more deserving person. Patty is from Ventura, CA in the winter and Kemptville, Ontario, Canada in the summer. I asked her to write the story of the quilt to share with you all. Congratulations Patty and you are now an official member of The Linen Ladies Club!
After seeing your pieces last year when you were featured artist at Road to California I was inspired. My mother had made linen table cloths before I was born, since I do not remember her working on them when I was growing up. We had one very large cut work one with all the buttonhole stitching that we used at all family dinners and as I got older it was always my job to iron this monster! I thought it was really neat to get all the pieces flat and straight and dry as it was always pressed after dampening, rolling and letting it sit for awhile before you could start, I also have memories of my mom ironing my fathers white shirts! I still use the large table cloth so have not made that one into a quilt as yet.
But I had the small cloth and thought I could use it and not be too overwhelmed by the project. I spent quite a bit of time deciding what motifs to use, then sizing them to fit on paper. I used my light box to trace the designs. I finished most of the sewing from the end of January 2008 to the end of April, but had not completed it when it was time to return to our summer home in eastern Canada, so had to take it with me to finish it over the summer. I applied the small beads during our hand stitching meetings every other Thursday all summer thought I never would be finished. I still needed to finish the quilting of the flower border, I was too anxious to see how the beads would look to finish quilting, so beading and quilting were finished about the same time. I wanted the scalloped edging to show so I hand turned the backing to make the knife edge.
This makes such a wonderful memory for me since my mother passed away in 1970. She taught me to sew on a Singer featherweight which I still have, so I am sure she would have enjoyed seeing this piece re invented into a beautiful usable cloth. It will grace my dining room table in my summer home in Canada.