Erba’s quilt and the method and inspiration behind it.


Erba's quilt 001

This beautiful quilt belonged to my grandmother, Erba.  I have adored this quilt since the first time that I saw it.  To me it is not only uncomplicated but also elegant.  My grandmother passed away about 15 years ago.  When I was asked if I wanted anything of hers to remember her by I asked for this quilt.  It reminds me of her too, an understated elegance.

Let me tell you the history of how Erba’s quilt came to be.  This quilt was made by a lovely woman who designs and makes quilts.  That woman does happen to be my mother but she has created some breathtaking quilts.  My mum’s name is Mary and I will address her as such to prevent confusion.  I asked Mary where she got the inspiration for this quilt.  Mary told me that she wanted to make a quilt for Erba and asked her what colors that she liked and Erba told her that she liked pastel colors.  Mary had seen a quilt in a magazine that was called “White on White” by Georgia Bonesteel.  Mary thought that it fit Erba so she set out to design a quilt based on the quilt that inspired her.  The monotone “White on White” really emphasized the hand quilting.


This is one of the pictures of the quilt that inspired Mary to create her own white on white quilt.

I asked Mary if she made the entire quilt top and then did the hand stitching/quilting.  Mary said that she did “lap quilting” which is making the block, sandwiching the batting between the top and backing fabric that is a bit larger than the top and then doing the hand stitching.  When all of the hand stitching on the blocks are completed then the tops are stitched together with the sewing machine.  She told me that the batting is then trimmed and the backing fabric is sewn together by hand with a hem stitch.  Mary then stated that this is the type of quilting inspired by Georgia Bonesteel.

Erba's quilt 002

Erba's quilt 004

I asked Mary how she first heard of Georgia Bonesteel.  She told me that she was ironing one day and the television was on the PBS station and a program featuring G. Bonesteel and her lap quilting came on.  Needless to say that the ironing did not get finished at that time and Mary found and new activity that lasts to this day.

Georgia Bonsteel books 001Georgia Bonsteel books 004

I asked Mary how many quilts did she think that she has made and she stated that she knows that she has made at least 30, possibly 40 quilts.  She went on to tell me that since everyone in the family is so tall most of the quilts that she has made for family members have been extra-long.  That means a lot more quilt.  When  I asked Mary which one has been her favorite quilt she stated that all of them have been her favorite.  Each one that she has made has had a special meaning.

Mary went on to state that those who are starting in the world of quilting show go to shows and review books about quilting.  She advises to look at the quilt blocks/patterns, fabrics and color combinations.  Mary states, “Don’t limit yourself to the exact pattern of a quilt block.  Let it inspire you.”


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