Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tribute Star Quilt {A finish}

A few weeks back when my guild got word we would be working on a challenge using Denyse Schmidt's new line I was thrilled. I was more than thrilled when I found out the new line is called "Florence". Florence is particularly meaningful to me because I had a grandmother named Florence.  I actually never call her grandmother because she was always my mother's mother. She passed away when my mother was a young woman. But I'm sure she would have been a swell grandmother.


Tribute Star Quilt

I wanted to make a special quilt in tribute to my grandmother Florence. More than a special quilt the process itself was special in it has allowed me and my mother to reflect a bit on our dear Florence. The fabric itself reminds me of the era in which Florence would have flourished (such great fabric!). 

When I think of Florence I think of the bittersweet memories of a mid-20th century woman.  A woman who was blessed with one child, my mother, late in life. And a woman whose last few years were spent battling a painful cancer when cancer treatment and palliative care were not what they are today. When I was a younger girl I didn't feel comfortable asking about Florence because of the sadness surrounding a death that leaves a daughter motherless. But as my mother says, as time passes the bitter becomes less bitter and the sweet becomes more sweet, and I've recently felt more comfortable asking about the grandmother whom I'd known only through the bits and pieces gleaned in passing as my mother casually wove her mother into conversation. 

My Grandmother Florence and Mom, Anne, at Belle Isle on the Detroit River 

I think of my mother, Anne, recalling how comforted she felt when as a little girl she would play with her dolls underneath the big quilt frame as Florence and her sisters quilted a big quilt overhead. It was apparently especially great during thunderstorms. (This sounds like a bit of heaven to me!)

My mom finds it remarkable that I have Florence's hands. I'm sure it was a trip to one day see your mother's hands on your teenaged daughter. I remember growing up my mom occasionally studying my hands in thought and shaking her head and saying, "you have my mother's hands." 

I remember my mother saying she loved to eat butter when she was little. As a mother I can only imagine Florence's surprise and bewilderment to find her daughter eating a stick of butter. And also the annoyance of having to clean butter off your child and having to buy more butter for cooking
(Really mom?!)

Florence was a very social woman and my grandparents would go out every weekend when Florence was healthy. She loved to laugh but never at someone else's expense.

Florence in the awesome, colorful (naturally) dress on the left, her sisters are next
and my great grandmother is on the right.

Florence loved the color purple and a particular pretty purple tulip quilt (that I will show you this summer). I like purple because it reminds me of my mother. My mom also loves purple and I guess  we share that same reason. Do we choose what we like? Or are we destined to become our mothers? And at what point do we want to become our mothers? Because there is a point where we do (sorry daughters, it's true). Do we want to become our mothers or are we wishing to be a part of their story? Or to pass their greatness to our children?

Florence used to love to sit in the back yard and gaze up at the stars. She knew the constellations and would point them out to my mom when she was a girl. (I would too, do you know how bright the stars were back then in that unpolluted, street light-less sky?)

 So, in honor of my grandmother Florence I give you my "Tribute Star" quilt. 

I did not plan this to coincide with Mother's Day, but Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there. 


Quilt Stats: 
Design: Mine, inspired by blocks from the Farmer's Wife, particularly this one, and the Constellation quilt by Katy Jones
Size is 64 inches by 64 inches. 
Fabric is the "Mosaic" color way from Florence, by Denyse Schmidt. Solid is Teal Cotton Couture. Quilting is organic straight line graduating in scale; small scale starting below the star and radiating outward and upward. 
Quilt Back is made from Shirt Stripe from Chicopee, by Denyse Schmidt


I'm linking up with Finish It Up! Friday


  1. Really lovely. Thank you for sharing the quilt and the story of your grandmother.

  2. This is a really beautiful quilt & the story of your grandmother is very sweet, thanks for sharing such a personal story.

  3. This is Anne, Becca's mom and Florence's daughter. How cool is this? To share so much with a daughter and to enjoy the love of quilting. It is a wonderful inter generational connection. This traditional quilter learns modern style from my daughter. Becca happy Mother's Day you are an exceptional young woman and mother. Love you!:)

  4. Becca, this is such a lovely, lovely post. I'm so glad you shared this piece of yourself with us.

    And the quilt? Gorgeous, of course! :)

  5. A beautiful story for a beautiful quilt. You become your mother when you are a mother yourself - well that's how it works for me. I jut want to be as good as her - with my own choices..

  6. what a beautiful quilt, and wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Such a wonderful Story for a sweet quilt Gift :-)

  8. Beautiful quilt and story. Thanks for sharing.

  9. What a lovely post, and a gorgeous quilt. I think the teal background is lovely, and you did such a good job with the quilting. I think your grandmother would be proud.

  10. Wow! What an amazing story, and the quilt is so lovely!

  11. This is so stunning! I love everything about it -- the composition, the color you chose for the negative space, the quilting....

  12. Beautiful story and a beautiful quilt!

  13. You're such a big B! Badass that is!! :) I don't know about everyone else but I've always wanted to be like my mother. I can't remember not feeling that way. I still can't wait to be adventurous like her... maybe now that I'm 30, I'll go wild.

  14. Nice job Becca -- turned out beautiful, and nice Deep Woods background ;-)

  15. Wonderful post. Wonderful quilt. Thank you.

  16. Wonderful post. Wonderful quilt. Thank you.

  17. Beautiful story to go with the beautiful quilt.

  18. i know i've faved or liked this quilt a bunch of times, but i'm finally reading your post. and it is beautiful. i think you did great justice to the fabric and your grandmother.

  19. I'm loving this quilt! It is so fancy and the colors are fabulous! What a fun tribute.

  20. Becca, I just learned about this quilt from the Pink Chalk Fabrics email--congratulations on your win!! (Well deserved, if I may say so!) I had to click over here to read the story, and the quilt is even better knowing the story behind it! Fantastic job!

  21. I like the cleanness of the figure, you used many prints and hues, then stopped! Very bold, very graphic. My own grandmother crochetted, and
    my mom sewed her own clothing, I did too through college, but when I had
    only sons I wondered what to do with all the beautiful scraps I had saved.
    Make a quilt!
    Cedar sewer


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