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My Quilt Story: Susan Stewart

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OUR WHOLE LIFE by Susan Stewart

I know anniversary quilts are not uncommon. But this one, as my Dad tearfully described, “is our whole life.”

I made this quilt for my parents’ 50th anniversary in 2002. At the time, I was a seamstress, not a quilter, but I wanted to make something special. A book called The Collectibles Quilt by Wendy Etzel, 1995, RCW, got me started with the idea of a photo transfer bookcase quilt, and I took off from there. I managed to get photos of five generations of family, and made enough fabric photo transfers to create 52 “framed” photos on the bookshelves, including my parents’ wedding picture and their wedding invitation.

The titles of some of the “books” are the names of my grandparents, my parents, my sister and me, and our children. Other “books” are titled with where we were born, significant events, and interests in our lives. As an added touch, I machine embroidered a Peace rose, which was my maternal grandmother’s favorite flower, and added a basket with a piece of crocheted work spilling out of it. This was made by my father’s aunt, who was born deaf, but did exquisite crochet work.


When they saw the quilt, they were both speechless and teary-eyed, and my father said, “This is my whole life!” Yes!




Editor’s note: Susan Stewart is an award-winning quilter and the author of  Heirloom Machine Sewing for Quilters. Wendy Etzel’s second book, The Collectibles Quilt II, is available from the author. Please contact Wendy at [email protected] for more information.

Posted by Christine N. Brown, American Quilter magazine editor-in-chief


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