ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone

I had so much fun sharing the quilt I finished on Monday Auntie Em, I thought I would share the 2nd quilt that I found the same day. It was funny — I was in the St Vinnies looking for picture frames when I suddenly felt a need to check out the notion aisle. It was like some thing was calling to me as I dug into the bin of fabrics. At the bottom of the bin were a couple of lumpy bags– the colors didn’t call out to me – bright yellows and reds. And I put them aside and went back to looking for picture frames. I needed large ones. I like to frame the posters my son-in-law makes and hang them on the walls.But some thing kept bothering me and I found myself at the fabric bin again. And I dug through and reached the bottom and the lumpy bags were still there, big clear plastic bags with the loud material all jumbled up inside.The colors wouldn’t go with anything but some how I just couldn’t leave them behind. Some one cared enough to stitch these a cheery place on a cold wisconsin night. So I broke down and put them in my cart.

Once I was at home I sorted through the 2 bags. The quilt I call Auntie Em was completely  hand stitched stitched but a little small so I decided to add fabric to make it larger. The stitches were even and nice clearly sewn by an expert.

The blue and yellow  quilt was not quite finished. It was jumbled into the bag with some squares that were done but never added to the quilt. It was like the quilter had given up hope on this quilt. You could see that she had run into several problems. she ran out of the yellow madris fabric and substitued a stripe in yellow. and then when she seemed to pick up steam and be going good the blue ran out.

I think this was probably a inexperianced quilter. The hand  stitching is not as tidy as on the Auntie Em quilt. And the seams are not straight. Where Auntie Em used white cotton thread to sew this quilter used whatever was on hand —heavy button thread, assorted colors of cotton thread and even what looked like embroidery floss. The fabrics are all different weights — there are silks, cotton and heavier  drapery material.

but their are some treasures to see like the cowboy fabric above.
and this little bopeep smiling shyly  and you can just make out a fox or some animal hiding above with a bow and arrow. A old time cupid waiting to win your heart.
I think this quilt has a story to tell. I had to do a lot of work on this one. I sewed several blocks together to add 3 more rows to what was already done. And then I found a material to back this. and pieced it together with (forgot to get a picture of the back).
I am afraid this quilt also talked to me  as I finished it(am I going completely dotty in my old age?). I found my self humming and singing songs that I hadn’t heard in ages.  But the song that ran through my head the most was  “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone”. So as cheery as this quilt looks I wonder if the women who was sewing it was sad. Was money extremely tight and she sewed what ever material -what ever weight she could find in order to finish this?  Were stitches uneven because she had to keep jumping up to tend to her children? Was she humming the same song I was cause she was blue? Had her sunshine gone away?
I won’t ever know but maybe she can rest a little easier knowing that her quilt has found a home and is used and loved. It keeps us warm and it makes my bedroom look cheery even when it is cold and grey outside. And if my family hears me humming while I make the bed in the morning I just won’t tell them I am channeling some long ago woman who sewed this quilt.
don’t worry I am still knitting too but I forgot my camera when we drove to the cabin so i can’t take any pictures. But I can tell you I am working on an extremely cute hat that I can’t wait to show you. And I might have knit another turtle or two ; )

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