A Special Quilt Finish

I have finally finished the first quilt I ever made.

After piecing, and quilting this quilt over a decade ago, last week I sat down and finished hand stitching the binding.

Last week, my Aunt who helped me though almost every step of this quilt, passed away unexpectedly. When I was in high school, she went through her scrap bins with me, helped me cut, stitch, quilt, and start the binding on this pretty crazy quilt. We made it big enough for the twin bed that I was sleeping on at the time, which it never actually adorned. I have so many wonderful memories of working on this project with her, and the week I spent at her home finishing it up (mostly) one summer. 

I loved the narration she gave about the various fabrics. I know the light pink kitten print, close to center, was a scrap from a nightgown she made for my cousin when she was a girl. She always endearingly referred to the fabric with the people in windows as her "people." She directed me towards alternating light and dark fabric, but as the end product shows I didn't follow that advice too carefully. 

We made up a handful of these star blocks (that I don't know the name of), and put them though out. She taught me how to square up the quilt (which I have since completely forgotten how to do), select and add the borders, quilt, FMQ and bind. Another Aunt who is an avid quilter helped me with the final layout of the blocks and stitched the top together. 

She helped me write and put a tag on the quilt.  We naively assumed that I would finish up the hand stitching on the binding within the month (July 2001), instead it took 15 years. So perhaps I should edit the tag to mention that it was actually finished May 2016? I no longer sleep in a twin bed, my last name is no longer Jeffers, but this quilt is still made with love. That is still true. It is made with tears now stitched in the binding, as I visited the fabrics and the time I spent making it with my now passed Aunt. 

I will miss my dear Aunt Sue. Looking over this quilt now, it is clear to me the love and patience she showed me while teaching me all about sewing and quilting during this project. She directed me, encouraged me, and overlooked the flaws of this quilt. She was a wonderful lady and she will be sorely missed. 

I FMQed my name into the border.
Her Bernina definitely did FMQ better than my Brother does. :)

There are so many imperfections that I used to see in this quilt, but now I mainly see love.