I was that kid with the homemade Little House on the Prairie dresses in calico, complete with eyelet pinafores and even a couple bonnets. It was the late 70s/early 80s. My mom sent me to school with granola bars and whole wheat, apple butter sandwiches in my Holly Hobbie lunch pail. I had whole, raw milk in my thermos and thought the kids with weird hockey pucks wrapped in aluminum foil were the odd ones.
I’ve been given a lot of vintage calico (wait, does that make me vintage?), and while I love it, it has a huge place in my heart, it has been difficult deciding what to do with it.
I don’t want to cut it up into tiny pieces where I can’t quite appreciate the field of calico yardage, and I don’t want to make it into little dresses only to be discarded as the girls grow….but the idea of a traditional patterned quilt AND traditional fabric doesn’t thrill me either. That’s a lot of work to be back at tiny pieces.
On the other hand, hanging on to fabric creates this….blockage, for lack of a better term. That’s sounds grossly gastrointestinal, but it’s true. Having something like 15 accumulative yards of vintage calicoes clogging up my stash and my ability to move forward. I can’t just let it sit there and rot. I can’t justify buying more fabric and working around this pile, over and over. There’s a mental white elephant in the room. Part of my brain is continually dedicated to “what am I going to do with that fabric” even while I’m working on something else.
So….enter the picnic quilt. These are well made fabrics and my family is in need of a “laying out in the grass” quilt. Truth be told, I’m sure the moment it shows any wear on it whatsoever, it will be retired to a couch, but a decision has been made that I’m happy with.
I took some of it, and sewed it into large, 6″ wide by about 40″ long strips, and sewed the 2 halves together.
It has this Provencal, country bumpkin thing going on. There’s a smidge of Robert Kaufman cotton/linen denim in there.
The back has quadrants of large yardage split by some leftover strips. It’s running about a queen size.
Now that I’ve finished up Alex’s quilt, I can baste this and zip it together. I’m thinking simple line quilting – keep it simple.
I’m happy with my decision, and even more so, I’m happy with that little nagging feeling being gone. I don’t have to give up my calicoes. I wonder if I can find some audiobooks of Laura Ingalls Wilder to make the family listen too while I quilt it. Oh, or even better, The Firefox series.
A couple shots of NASCAR Zoe, testing the new track in the living room….she thought she was just being hilarious.