Memories from a cowboy boot quilt
Sometimes a good idea can be overdone till it’s boring. I made 6 or 7 cowboy quilts in various sizes over the past 8 or 9 years. I only kept one. The pattern was from the Fons & Porter magazine Sept/Oct 2000 issue. They’ve since published it again with extra patterns, as I recall — I think a cactus and a cowboy hat.
Each boot quilt was made with a specific recipient in mind — someone’s relative who owns a horse farm, a daughter’s former boyfriend, a lady who was a barrel racer, a sister who collects cowboy boots, a coworker’s daughter who was getting her Ph.D. at the U. of Texas — you get the idea.
This one is mine. I never plan to give it away or auction it for a worthy cause. It reminds me of the others I made, which were never actually boring. Fabric selection for the boots was the fun part, the part that kept it interesting. Most of the boots were made from horse or barbed wire or rodeo themed fabrics. But some were created to fit the recipient, little personal touches hidden among the typical cowboy fabrics. In a couple I used the school colors of a college attended, in another I made boots from flowers for a lady who has a green thumb, and one boot was made from fireworks fabric for someone whose favorite holiday is Independence Day.
The options are endless.
I caught an old episode of “Simply Quilts” with Alex Anderson years ago where a lady made a 12-boot quilt, each one representing a month. First boot was made with snowflakes, second was made with hearts, the third with shamrocks, etc.
The backing on this quilt is a feedsack that my mother gave me when I started quilting. It’s thin in places and maybe a bit faded, but it brings back memories of growing up on a NE Iowa cattle farm. My mother taught me to sew. My earliest sewing memory is hand stitching with a needle and thread, around the curve of the top of a sleeve. She had me stitch the gathering or easing thread to help set a sleeve into a dress for me. I don’t remember the first time I used a sewing machine, but I certainly remember sewing those stitches along a sleeve cap.
I had to piece the feedsack to fit the quilt. A feedsack isn’t sized to be the perfect back on a 41 x 62″ quilt. This old fabric is now part of a quilt that’s important to me, not sitting on a shelf or in a box somewhere.. If you look closely, you can see one boot on the quilt made with a fussy cut from this feedsack.
I’m trying to figure out how to jam 10 years of quilting and +50 years of sewing into a blog that I started in February 2009. I want to share my thoughts and memories with my children and my granddaughter and any future grandchildren. I guess whatever I put in is OK. Just bits and pieces as I go. After all, I got into quilting somewhat late in my life, so starting a blog even later is better than nothing.