The art of letter writing has, sadly, almost disappeared. I have a notebook filled with letters written by my parents to my dad’s younger sister Sallie in the 1930s, along with a few to his mother. My parents were engaged, but it was during the Depression and times were hard. Reading them, I heard my dad lamenting over the difficulty of finding a job as a journalist and worrying if they’d ever get to marry. But then I heard my mother exulting as a new bride, listing many of the delights of marriage. I decided to focus on this treasure-trove of letters for this quilt.
After choosing a few of the letters, I scanned them and some envelopes, resized them, and printed them on Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Sheets. I also scanned and printed a picture of my parents taken in the early days of their marriage.
For the background of the letters and envelopes and the picture, I made a crazy quilt block. I used some of Mother’s old, sheer handkerchiefs, as well as some old lace. I backed these delicate fabrics with pink and blue fabric (more about these in the photo captions), fusing them together with Misty Fuse. Once the crazy quilt pieces were fused, I sewed them together and added some decorative machine embroidery stitches to the seam lines and a bit of lace insertion with pink ribbon.
Next I arranged the photo and snippets from the letters and envelopes onto the background. Once I had a design that pleased me and showed off the lovely embroidery on the hankies, I fused them to the background with more Misty Fuse. Finally, I stitched around all of the fused pieces with a tiny zig-zag stitch.
I bound the quilt with one of the fabrics used behind the hankies, and I made a Cross Country block for the back, again using some of the fabrics from the front, as well as some 1930 vintage feed sack fabrics. I chose Cross Country to symbolize how my father made so many cross-country (well, cross-state!) trips to visit Mother, during their long courtship!