When my family was going through my mother's clothing to sort what some of us wanted to keep and what should be taken to the local thrift store, I came across a blouse made of a fabric I instantly recognized. My father had brought it back from a trip to Egypt decades ago. I had personally not seen my mother wear the blouse, but based on the frayed parts around the collar and sleeve seams, she had worn it quite a bit. Because I lived away from the area, I asked my geographically closer siblings if they had seen our mother wear it, and they did. The blouse was a great example of her excellent sewing skills, but, with its large boxy shape and kimono sleeves, was out of style and too worn out to be useful as apparel -- indeed, based on its location in the closets, she had not worn it for some time herself. The blouse seemed too precious to me to turn over to the thrift store, where no doubt, it would be thrown into a stack of items for sale by the pound to the industrial rag industry. The fabric is a very fine Egyptian cotton plain weave - what was a quilter to do?
I had long ago planned to make an Egyptian-themed quilt and collected several prints in fat-quarter and full-yard pieces. The two largest of these wound up on as backings. Carl got this one, because his living room has long had a print of the mask of King Tut on display.
These quilts were finished several months ago, but the other three waited in a dark closet for a couple of months here in North Carolina, while Carl's quilt went on display in the "Something Blue" exhibit Dorry curated for Art Space in Herndon Virginia. Dorry has sent Carl's quilt on to him.
Jeff's quilt got this camel print for the backing. I thought it would appeal to his wife, Joanna.
this link) and I have a few more of those sleeve pieces in my collection yet. My family members do not have to display the little quilts on their walls - they can use them on a table, or put them in a drawer, but I feel much better that the fabric that my Dad personally brought back and that my mother worked with and wore might stay in the family for a few more years.