As a fledgling quilter, most of my quilts were baby gifts: patchwork in construction and small. Back then my friends were still having babies. So when I got to the point in my life where I had a few minutes on my hands for something other than child-rearing, I made a 10th-year Anniversary quilt for my hubby. It too is straight patchwork and not remotely artistic, but believe me when I say it was an arduous task. It is approximately 82 by 100 inches. I used only 100% cotton fabrics and batting, which was quite thin, thank goodness because I knew at the start I’d be hand quilting it. There are 1280 blocks, each 2.25″ squares, with a minimum of 44 stitches per block cross-hatched on the diagonal. If you do the math, thats 56,320 hand stitches, NOT counting the basting or the binding which could easily add another couple of thousand stitches. It took me a year. I monogrammed it with a small dedication patch.
I still remember putting the finishing touches on it on the night of our anniversary, handing it to him just before midnight. We had NO money back then as he was still in grad school. But it was a wonderful time in our lives. We were a complete family, and the quilt will always be an heirloom, though I’m not now sure where it might end up.
I made a small replica from the original scraps while I was piecing the quilt. I retrieved it for this page, and as luck would have it, without the binding, which I cut off, it’s the perfect 12″ by 12″ size for the book. I stitched in the ditch with the Curvy. The pockets are from a new fabric, and the tucked bookmarks are fabric adhered to a thick interfacing, the words written by hand with indelible ink.
The Anniversary quilt itself sits quietly on a pile of quilts atop the wall unit in our bedroom, and is no longer used or properly displayed. All that work, all that love….still here.
And as I write this I am reminded that I made the Anniversary quilt on the Singer Featherweight my Mother-in-Law Annette gave me that same year. So it is to her I dedicate this page, and honor her as the true “A” in the book.