The Remnants of Aunt Roberta’s Sunflowers Quilt

There is a magic in new beginnings. This is the last of the Janet Broxton Sunflowers Fiesta bolt of fabric. There were about 15 yards on that bolt of fabric. I bought it nearly 8 years ago when I lived in New Mexico. I made two lap sized art quilts that were used not only for art instillations, but also as charity quilts. Aunt Roberta’s Sunflower’s Quilt is traditionally known as a grandmother’s flower garden quilt. I used a hand quilting technique known as English paper piecing with an inch and one fourth hexagons. I hand pieced the top of the quilts, but had them finished with a long arm sewing machine in the interest of time. Both gala charity events took place within the same week, literally two days after the other.

After the quilts were done, this is all I was left with. It may make 14 blocks, but I am not going to be sure until I am done. But I do know that I will not be able to get another quilt out of the remnants. Maybe it will make some placemats or something? I will see.

Quilts with hexagons are known as grandmother’s flower garden quilts. I made mine with a hand quilting technique known as English paper piecing with one and one fourth inch hexagons. It takes a lot of time to do these quilts. Some people even pay other people to make them so they won’t go through all that sitting around, cultivating their patience.

These quilts are proudly displayed in the textiles exhibits of museums and quilting conferences around the world. Because of the intricate hand work, they are highly coveted. Because these quilts take so much time to create and are so intricate, I received the message from a quilt shop owner was, “Don’t sell a grandmother’s flower garden quilt. No one will ever pay you enough money for the time and energy that you spent making it.” Good advise if you are in it for the money. However, I don’t do this for the money.

I do this because I love it.

And I also stand firm with the platforms the money made from the quilts would support. I was both pleased and honored to be able to offer something that would be helpful to someone somewhere. At first, saying goodbye to these quilts was difficult. I mean, I loved the quilts as well.

Making money off of quilts isn’t a bad thing. But these quilts and I had been through so much: cross country travel, graduate school, domestic violence counseling, a job where the boss embezzled million dollars, dear friends moving out of state due to the economy, studying various meditation techniques to learn how to relax through all of this.  I tried to write a novel of mystery/romantic suspense about that one job I couldn’t stand, but I thought better of it. Making my quilts won my creative heart. I kept hand piecing until those situations had resolved themselves.

In the end, though, one thing I have noticed is this: Now that these quilts have been given another loving home, I keep approaching bolt after bolt of sunflowers fabric without even trying. The fabric is on sale. And the prints are beautiful. It is like the universe is saying, “Let go of worry and make even more. You have more wisdom now than you did then. Let the magic begin again!”

The Remnants of Aunt Roberta's Sunflowers Quilt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *