By Barbara Falconer Newhall
Grandchild No. One is due in February, and this time the quilt will be ready.
Faithful readers of this blog will remember the story of the 40-year wait my brother and his wife had before I finally delivered their hand-made wedding gift to them. It was a crazy quilt made of colorful, flowered calico, pieced together on an old Singer sewing machine by me back in my hippie days.
Crazy quilting, it turned out, was way crazier than I expected. On their wedding day, I gave my
brother and his bride, not a finished quilt, but some pieces awkwardly stitched together in the shape of a diseased kidney. That and a promise that I’d get the thing pulled together by the time they returned from their honeymoon.
The half-made quilt, scruffy and misshapen, lay forgotten for the next forty years in an out-of-the-way drawer, reproaching me every time I happened across it.
Finally, a year or so ago, no longer impecunious and definitely no longer a hippie drop-out, I splurged and hired a Berkeley quilter to finish the job for me. We pared the sprawling thing
down to a quilt about the size of a baby blanket, and I presented it to my brother and his wife. Yes, they were still married. And no, they hadn’t forgotten that I owed them a quilt.
There were lots of random pieces of the quilt left over. I decided to save them — in case I ever had grandchildren.
When I found out that our first grandchild would be arriving, I headed back over to Sue Mary Fox’s studio in Berkeley with my crazy quilt scraps. Sue Mary figured I had enough material to
make four baby quilts. Why not go ahead and make up all four, she proposed. It would be so much more efficient to do them all at once. That’s what we did. The first baby quilt was presented at a baby shower earlier this month. And now I’ve got not one, not two, but three extra baby quilts, ready to go.
All I need is three more grandchildren. No pressure, kids.
Don’t miss the first two installments of my 40-year quilting saga at “The Quilt From Hell — Forty Years Later It’s Still Not Finished” and “A Crazy-Making Quilt — Finished at Last.”