not all that crafty, but once upon a time I was! It was Christmas 1977 or 78. I was a craft freak! Naturally I assumed everyone else was too, but that is not always the case. We generally made homemade gifts for our brothers and sisters. As the bratty little sister, I was always trying to impress my oldest sister, and not usually successfully.
So I talked with Grandma and we came up with an idea that I thought was amazing! She gave me some white fabric and we cut it to about the size of a sheet of paper. Then I looked through all of her coloring books. We couldn't find one that was just right, so she took me to the store and we bought one with pictures of dolls in it.
Then Grandma gave me some carbon paper (remember, this was the 70s) and I carefully copied each of the dolls onto the fabric squares. I was so excited when I was finally done! It took me many hours of concentration, but the quilt blocks were worth it. I could just imagine the smile on my sister's face when she opened them on Christmas morning.
The part I didn't figure in was the fact that my sister didn't really love crafts...I'm not sure she did embroidery work at all. But it was a gift I knew I would love, so I assumed she would too.
The blocks sat untouched in a box in her room for about three years. So one day when I was about 15 or 16, and she was off to college, I pulled them out and began working on them. As I watched the patterns grow, I became pretty addicted. I started taking a tiny box of supplies with me to church so I could stitch during Sacrament meeting.
Then I started taking them with me to school. I had a couple of teachers who complained, but when I explained to them that I could concentrate better (and not fall asleep) when my hands were busy, they didn't complain. I was a good student, so that helped my cause.
It took me two or three years working on them pretty much every day to complete them all. The hair was the worst! Because it was a coloring book, they didn't make any attempt to make fewer lines and I didn't think to leave some out when I traced them.
When the blocks were finally done, Grandma and I went to the store and picked out fabric to piece it together. I hadn't intended to frame them, but the quilt would have been too small otherwise. After she helped me with the top, we had a distant cousin mark the pattern. Then we took it to my grandma on my dad's side and she did the quilting.
All in all, it took about 8 years from start to finish to make this quilt. It's beautiful and warm, but it's never been used. It has become a family heirloom that sits quietly in my cedar chest. Most of my kids have never seen it.
In fact, it was about six months ago that Crafty asked me if I knew how to embroider.
"I used to," I replied, "just a little."