Don't you? Especially when they come with some great family story, like “I found it in a box under Gramma's bed.” Or, “I think my husbands' great-grandmother made this when she got married.” They usually come crumpled, with stains and a couple of holes to patch up before quilting. But, they are lovely!
This hand-pieced Orange Peel quilt top is beautiful, don't you think? It was brought to me by the granddaughter to be quilted and given to her mother...the daughter of the original maker. I patched the holes in the border, pressed out the majority of the crumples and got to the quilting. Is it stained, yes, and so not square, but that's all part of its legacy. I found the perfect mini-print at WalMart (the best place to find old-looking fabrics that match up with the old mini-floral prints in the top).
I suggested to the granddaughter that I would machine-stitch the binding down and then give her a lesson on how to wrap the binding to the back and hand-stitch it. She was delighted that she would have a hand in the finished product. Seemed appropriate, don't you think?
I have had the honor to finish many old tops over my years as a quilter, even hand-quilting them in my early years. I feel the presence of the original maker when I do, like she is so pleased to have her work appreciated. And, of course, the best part is that something folded up and laid in a closet many years ago can now be proudly displayed on a bed or a quilt rack. What joy!
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.”