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The Epic Ohio Star Quilt

by Tammy

As per my grandmother's legacy, I put it upon myself to make my oldest niece a quilt as a graduation gift.

Like a chicken who has just learned that she can lay eggs and begins to lay lots of them, so was I about quilting. Having a baby? Make a quilt. Your great uncle's father's favorite aunt passed away? Make a quilt.

The quilt I chose was the Ohio Star. The colors of the quilt were a muted red, blue and cream. It was to be the biggest quilt I had made to date. All of the rest of my quilts were wall hangings and one twin sized.

I recall cutting the pieces out each individually and painstakingly matching points on what seemed like a bajillion triangles. I was on a deadline so I enlisted the help of my husband and young daughter. We spent hours and hours on those points.

Once the top was finished, I realized that I did not have enough pins to pin the quilt securely enough to quilt it. We were going to have to thread baste. So we sandwiched the quilt on our table, using sturdy clamps to do so. My husband sat on one side of the table and I on the other. We used a circular needle. I stitch as far as my arm could reach then he would pick it up and finish to the end. The he would stitch towards me as long as he could reach -which was pretty far- and then I would pick it up and finish. It took about four hours to baste.

I could never take a quilt to a long arm machine quilter. I had to do it myself. It was a test of strength to pull and drag and maneuver this large quilt under the short arm of my machine, but I did it.

I must say my favorite part of the entire process (apart from choosing the colors) was the binding. I learned how to make a continuous binding on the bias of the fabric for this quilt. I sat contentedly in front of the air conditioner hand stitching the final part of the binding. I watched movies late into the night.

My niece loved the quilt. It's been 20 years since I gave it to her. I am not sure where the quilt is now, but it doesn't matter. It is sometimes the process and not the product. Fabric fades and withers, but memories do not.

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