Thursday, May 19, 2011

Every work of craft tells a story...

And perhaps a quilt, more than any other. In the 1980s a young mother lived with her family on the beautiful French island of Réunion.


Life was busy, looking after her daughter,


and her son.


The tropical nature of the island


influenced her choice of colourful clothes and fabrics.




But she was culturally French as well, and the most traditional fabrics of France,were available to her, on her tropical island on the other side of the world.




Along with some more modern fabrics printed in French too!The patterns and colours of her ancestral Africa
appealed to herand looked great on her,but she also had some fabricsjust like the ones I wore, or craved, in England, at that time.Throughout the 80s she saved the family's old clothes and furnishing fabrics,And in the '90s, when her family was growing up and life was a bit less hectic,she started putting everything together into a quilt.She didn't buy any fabric,having so much in her stash after years of saving,and the happy memories triggered while cutting and stitchingwere as satisfying as the crafting itself.When her handsome young son had finished his education on the island,he left for France, where he did well at university, met and maried a beautiful French woman, and was given the quilt by his proud mother.I met him, his wife, and their little daughter, on Sunday, at the local school Vide Grenier.
The sight of these two charming people, folding up the quilt in the strong French sunlight, will stay with me as I begin the enjoyable task of mending it and learning still more about the woman who made it.

25 comments:

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Such a beautiful post, Floss and such a beautiful quilt. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks, btw, for the link to your buttons!

marigold jam said...

How could they bear to part with it? (Or are you mending it to return to them?) Lovely story and lovely quilt.

Isobel said...

Wow!! What a story! And a gorgeous quilt.
xx

Floss said...

Well, to be honest, I'm wondering how they could bear to part with it too - because it's mine now! Of course, my version of events might be a bit off, but surely it does have emotional significance to her son, at least...

Serenata said...

What a lovely find, lucky for you, but sad for the family who didn't want to keep and treasure it.

Catherine said...

What a gorgeous quilt and hand sewn too!! So much work! Very special indeed! Cx

Sherri B. said...

My comment was just lost in Cyberspace so I will try again.

How many times have most of us found a wonderful old piece just to imagine the life it has led with no clues at all. Here you have the entire story. Enjoy!

Angela said...

So lovely to have some of the story behind the quilt. They will be glad to have sold it to someone who will treasure it.
btw-glad the boys liked the TinTin trailer.

blessings x

Hen said...

It's fabulous, Floss. Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful story.
Hen x

polkadotpeticoat said...

I love this quilt full of color and then the Story!!! I heard a story once about china chips she stored in a jar and each chip had a story.it was precious but the quilt is the best yet!

Lalabibaby @ Dreaming of The Simple Life said...

What a beautiful tale .... such a shame the family didn't want to keep it but it couldn't have landed in safer hands xx

fee @ chipper nelly said...

What a lovely tale (and quilt)
I've kept all my boys favourite clothes for a project - just need to learn how to quilt!
fee x

Carol said...

Beautiful quilt and a lovely story, how sad that the family didn't want to keep it though.
Carol xx

Jane and Chris said...

Oh, how could they part with it!
Jane x

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

WHat a naughty boy he is!! It's such a treasure and it should have been kept for their little girl. Never mind, you will treasure it and that's how it's meant to be.

wendz said...

That quilt is exactly the kind that I love the most. A riot of colour and love. It beats the pants off modern day quilts.

But blimey how odd that they sold it - it's almost an heirloom. At least it's gone to a great home and will be treasured.

Elizabethd said...

Oh I cant bear that...how could they have let it go??
I'm glad that it is you who has it, as I know you will love it back to health.

Vintage Tea Time said...

What a lovely story and a lovely quilt - how could they bear to part with it. I'd love to go to Reunion - we went to Madagascar a few years ago - very near there - amazing. Abby x

Mami said...

Really beautiful quilt and post,Floss!
There is a family history in the quilt.
Nice!

Vilisi@islandmusings said...

A beautiful story and beautifully told. I also find it sad that the owners didn't treasure it but how fortunate it is that you are the new owner!

(Imagine the hours that went into making it by hand.Such a labour of love!)

Pom Pom said...

What a lovely story, Floss! There are few things more beautiful than a quilt on a washing line.

Pomona said...

That is the most beautiful quilt - what a lovely thing to possess!

Pomona x

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Made by hand. So many emotions, memories, dreams, worries, concerns, hopes, and probably prayers, while she was sewing.

How precious, Floss!
xxxx

Carolyn Phillips said...

What a beautiful story.

Vintage Jane said...

One of the most beautiful quilts I have seen in a while, made all the more special by the fact that you know it's provenance. What a find!