Friday, November 16, 2007

If Hitler were a piecemaker...

Once upon a time, our very good friend – let’s call her Charity for the sake of anonymity – got married, and I was her matron of honor. In order to pay homage to our life long (now 25 years, which is also an anniversary that I share with srg)), I decided to make her a quilt. This was particularly touching for Charity because the two of us learned to quilt together at a church group a few years earlier. We suffered through being the two youngest (by 20 years or so) women in the club, but had a BLAST trying to learn.

So that’s how I learned how to quilt. And Charity’s quilt was in fact only the 3rd quilt I had ever made. The first was practice, the second was for J (a memory quilt) and there were a few minor pillow projects thrown in there for my dad and J. But, KAT, being my partner in crime, was so touched by the quilt I made Charity, that she told me that *she* wanted a quilt. I told her “When you get married…” And she responded: “but what if I don’t get married?!” and I said “Then for your 30th birthday..”

As we all know, KAT turned 30 in December of last year. However, I was able to buy some time by telling her “Well, now you’re getting married.”

Flash forward to two weeks ago: The weekend before the wedding. Here I was, so proud of myself for pulling this lovely split rail fence quilt together with beautiful fabrics that matched her living room. That is, until I laid out the strips on the bed. I looked at the quilt, and was instantly panic-struck.


I called J upstairs. He looked at the quilt laid out on the bed and said to me, “Honey, I had no idea you were so proud of your German heritage.”

My quilt, which I thought would be a lovely stair step pattern had actually formed about a half dozen perfectly formed “pinwheels” which, as my husband confirmed for me, actually looked like swastikas.

A few minutes later, we were in our car, at 8:30 at night, headed to my parents house. I walked in and explained my dilemma to my mom, who without looking at the quilt said “Oh, did you put the red on the outside?” Apparently, there is a known risk factor of working with this pattern where, if outlined incorrectly, you could accidentally form the symbol of the Third Reich.

I ended up making a run to Joann’s fabrics the next day in order to do some repair work. I still have some last minute things to finish on it before they return from their honeymoon, including sewing on the label for them, putting on some decorative buttons, and hand-sewing the binding, but the quilt is now mostly complete.

And what started out as a full sized throw quilt ended up as nearly a queen sized quilt, that now forms kind of a window pane pattern, but it’s far more geometric and less Nazi-like. And while I’m sure KAT will appreciate the quilt, if I know her well enough, I think she’ll mostly appreciate the story of how she almost ended up with a swastika-bedecked quilt.

1 comment:

FunnyGal KAT said...

I'm nominating you, SJ, for best post title ever... and since I put in the only nomination... and I'm the judge... you win!

Seriously, that's a great title. And you're right, the quilt is beautiful, but so much more valuable because of the awesome story behind it!