However, I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed.
Here's a quilt on display at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, visited recently, that makes 1" pieces look big.
Here is the full view so you can get the perspective. Not terribly graphic from afar, is it? But get closer to see the size of the pieces and the purposeful arrangement of chevrons which are ultimately joined into four large sections. It's truly a wonder - a testament to patience and extreme thrift!
Checking The Quilt Index, where quilts from this museum collection are documented, I found out more about this quilt. Made by Bessie Sanford of Michigan, born in 1873, it is hand pieced and hand quilted from the back in fans. Someone more patient than I figured out that there are about 37,000 pieces. It measures 80" square. I understand and applaud Bessie. There is something so satisfying about 'using up' every tidbit.
In the late 1800's it became quite the popular thing for some quilters who were competitive in nature to try to earn bragging rights about the number of pieces in their quilt. Agricultural fairs promoted this popular type of competition and articles appeared in newspapers stating the number of pieces in someone's quilt so, inevitably, someone else said, 'I can top that!" and the challenge was on.
The result is that there are many such quilts but the first quilt that I admit brought tears to my eyes was Grace Snyder's Flower Basket Petit Point. I had never seen such a thing. It was on display in 2002 at the Houston International Quilt Show, chosen as one of the one hundred Best Quilts of the 20th century.
It is composed of half square triangle units measuring one fourth of an inch!. You heard me right. Eight tiny triangles sewn together make a ‘block’ about the size of a postage stamp!
This in not the full quilt but you can see it at the IQSCG website. Double click this image for a close-up.
Grace was inspired by a needlepoint pattern on on a set of china. I was able to see the actual china for the first time at a recent lecture by Jeananne Wright in Colorado.
The story of her life, as told to her daughter, is called No Time on My Hands, the understatement of all time! I highly recommend it.
The Flower Basket quilt is now in the collection of IQSCM at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as is this hexagon quilt, also by Grace. She just couldn't quit!
Click here for just one of many links with more examples and information about quilts with many small pieces.
So now you know.
I save tiny pieces of fabric
and beautiful quilts can bring me to tears!