Quiet Start


Quiet Start

January 2021

In mid-December, my nephew surprised everyone, announcing that he and his partner of six-years were getting married in a week’s time. While it wasn’t a surprise that they are perfectly matched and would eventually marry, the actual wedding arrived sort of out of the blue. However, it was such a beautiful and memorable culmination to a year that had been to that point less than stellar, leaving me with a good memory for 2020.

The name, Quiet Start, comes from their wedding vows. While they don’t have “a song” per se, they feel that Mama Cass’s It’s Getting Better, is a fitting description of their relationship, and they incorporated the lyrics into their vows :

Once I believed that when love came to me
It would come with rockets, bells and poetry
But with me and you it just started quietly and grew
And believe it or not
Now there’s something groovy and good
Bout whatever we got
And it’s getting better
Growing stronger warm and wilder
Getting better everyday, better everyday
I don’t feel all turned on and starry eyed
I just feel a sweet contentment deep inside
Holding you at night just seems kind of natural and right
And it’s not hard to see
That it isn’t half of what it’s going to turn out to be
Cause it’s getting better
Growing stronger, warm and wilder
Getting better everyday, better everyday
And just like a flower that takes time to bloom
This love of ours is taking time to grow
And I don’t mind waitin’, don’t mind waitin’
Cause no matter how long it takes
The two of us know
That it’s getting better
Growing stronger, warm and wilder
Getting better everyday, better everyday.
~ Cass Elliot (Mama Cass)

The majority of the material used for this quilt is wool that I inherited from my nephew’s grandmother, Virgie. Year’s ago when his grandmother passed away, I had been given stacks of wool that she had planned to use in making men’s suits. Over the years, I had used some to make a couple of clothing items for myself, and when I discovered that it wasn’t crazy to use it for a quilt, I made Virgie’s Wagga Rug. Even after making clothes and a quilt, I still had a good amount of this beautiful wool sitting in my stash. So, when my nephew announced the wedding, I knew what to do with the wool – make another quilt! The design is one I borrowed from an actual rug I had seen, that I wanted to interpret into a quilt. All the greys and brown/tans are from Virgie’s stash, while the mauve-colored wool is some I purchased back in the 1980’s with the plan to make a suit for myself, a plan that just never materialized (no pun intended).

As a nod to history, I want to notate here that some of the wool was stamped Harfred Fabrics Limited. While I attempted to learn more about the company, the internet had very little information about them. In the numerous years that this wool has been in my care, I have treasured the piece pictured below, that carries their logo. I used it in the backing for Quiet Start. I feel with the gifting of this quilt, that I have officially done honor to Virgie’s ‘stack of wool’.

For more information on wool quilts, check out TheEclecticAbuela’s blog. The story and origin of Wagga Rugs is fascinating.

 

Virgie’s Wagga Rug

Wagga Rug

Virgie’s Wagga Rug
November 2015

I am intrigued by hexie quilts, but doing a Y-seam or paper piecing method intimidates me. For this quilt, I used the 60-degree angle method, although I think I conceptualized it a bit different than how I have seen others use the 60-degree method. I cut my pieces so that I could work with blocks, since I am so accustomed to block quilting (shown in pic below). If you are looking for a good hexie tutorial, check out Kim’s blog over at Magnolia Bay Quilts.

hexie-quilt

The fabric I used is wool, which I do not consider to be a very traditional quilting material – I suspect this way of thinking is perhaps influenced by my American upbringing. I had come across TheEclecticAbuela’s blog a while back, and was thrilled to learn that it is not uncommon to use wool in making quilts. And, the story and origin of Wagga Rugs is fascinating.

Years ago when my brother-in-law’s mom Virgie passed away, I had been given stacks of wool that she had planned to use in making men’s suits. Over the years, I had used some to make a pair of slacks and a jacket for myself, but I still have stacks and stacks of this beautiful wool. I am so excited that I can put this wool to use in my Love Hugs project, and I suspect that Virgie would be excited as well that this quilt will give a foster child warmth and comfort. I was amazed by the finished weight of the quilt, which is considerably heavier than the usual cotton blend quilts that I make. I look forward to making more Wagga Rugs from Virgie’s wool!

Virgie’s Wagga Rug quanket was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services in December 2015.