Passing on a Tradition

My Sons, 17 and 15.5

My Sons, 17 and 15.5

When my sons were four and five years old, they made their first quilts.  My oldest now towers over me at 6’4″ and his brother looms over me at 6′.  The boys were fascinated with trains and spent hours playing near the quilting machine.  They would color, draw, build puzzles, and drive toy vehicles all around me.

I found an applique pattern for trains and thought “some day I’ll make each a quilt”.  Hmmmm.  Guess I took too much time on that project!  The boys started to trace the patterns and color them.  Then it occurred to me that fine motor skills develop nicely when children learn to use scissors.  So one thing led to another and they were tracing patterns on Wonder Under, cutting loosely around the design, ironing these to the backs of specially selected fabrics, and cutting the engine and train cars out — on the lines!!  We used muslin as the background.  Honestly, this decision was made because I never believed the quilts would really get completed.  I should have known better!  The trains circle a station, appropriately named after each boy.  The engineer is a picture of them scanned from a photo onto fabric and placed inside the engine.  The number of their engine was embroidered on each locomotive using my Bernina Artista 200E.

The backing is a compilation of many different fabrics.  My mom has been a quilter since forever as was her mom, and my boys were allowed to peruse the stash of all stashes for treasure fabrics.  When each boy had a birthday or Christmas rolled around, gifts were wrapped in fabric, of course!!

The final product is too precious for words.  The photo below was taken in 2013, eleven years after the quits were completed.

While neither boy at 17 and 15.5 years are quilters, it is my hope they will pass on the sewing tradition in some way.  Possibly just by telling the story to their children of making their first quilts.  As you can see below, my great niece, Brooke, age 8, is learning to iron.  It all starts somewhere….  Sew on, Everyone!!

Brooke, Age 8

Brooke, Age 8

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