You may remember an article I did last month about printing photographs on fabric and using them in a quilt – you can read it HERE if you missed it. In that article, I talked a little bit about the 2023 Metropolitan Society Challenge. Our theme this year is Heritage on a Small Scale. The only requirement was that the project needed to be 100 inches or less in circumference.
As soon as I heard what the theme was – I knew exactly what I was going to do. I have spent the past 3+ years since my father died – researching his side of the family. I knew almost nothing about them. As an Ancestry.com subscriber – I’d been running into all kinds of brick walls. Once he died – it opened up all kinds of records I now had access to. It also updated my DNA results.
All those interesting charts and graphs that represent my heritage, and where I came from. My thought – recreate them with needle and thread for the 2023 challenge. I spent months playing with design ideas, trying first one and then another. Nothing I tried seemed to give me that “Aha moment”.
Frustrated – I went back to the beginning. I needed a different idea. Time. Passed. No. Ideas. At that point, I figured that I wouldn’t have a project for this year’s challenge. I put it out of my mind for a while.
Inspiration in the family cookbook
I love to cook. In particular, I love to cook some of the recipes my mom included in the family cookbook she made for everyone in the family for Christmas in 1998. As I thought about those recipes, I realized that so much of what I’ve learned about the history of my family (at least on my maternal side) has been learned in the kitchen and at the dinner table. The recipes she included have been made by at least 5 generations of women in our house and probably – at least – 5 generations before that.
Those recipes represent my heritage. Every time I make them, I’m reminded of all the times they were made in our multigenerational home when I was growing up. All of a sudden – I had my “Aha moment”.
I used the ideas about printing photographs on fabric I talked about in the last article and got busy. I pulled 8 recipes from that family cookbook. They were (and are) – some of my personal favorites. I also included one I learned to make while I was working in India. I learned to make so many different recipes while I was there – that’s the benefit of working somewhere for a while – if you work it right, you get to go home with coworkers for some authentic homestyle food. This particular recipe (for Peanut Masala) has become a family favorite. And some of those people – they have become the dearest of friends.
Heritage on a Dinner Plate – seemed like a fitting name for my project. Sized at 22 x 28 inches – this quilt features recipe cards for 9 of my favorite family recipes. Each was formatted in Canva and printed on fabric affixed to pre-cut freezer paper. They were printed using my HP printer – feeding one sheet through at a time. I trimmed them to size and arranged them on a gray-marbled background meant to mimic the kitchen counter.
Every Quilt Needs a Label
You know it’s true! I made this label the same way I made the recipe images – in Canva and printed it out on fabric that has been run through my printer.
- Don’t be afraid to change course if the idea isn’t working out.
- I need more practice quilting – I’m working on it.
- Breaking bread with someone is an honor. It’s an opportunity to bond and deepen the relationship.
- A Quilt Challenge is a painfully – awesome experience. I highly recommend it.