I've studiously avoided quilting for decades, if for no other reason than I know that once you've been stung by the quilting bee there is no turning back. There is ample evidence of this in my mother's home: venturing into her quilting fabric stash in the sewing room closet requires a life line and signal flares to find your way out. Just about the last thing I need is another hobby which requires ample storage space. But this quilt proved too much of an inspiration---or was it temptation? In any case, I knew I didn't have the skills or the time to create an entire queen size quilt. But a little bread quilt to cover the dough while it's rising? That I could manage.
I collected pieces over the course of several months, never paying more than $4. There were some glorious embroidered pillowcases that went for upwards of $15, but my thrifty monastic heart couldn't bear to spend that much. I looked for signs which read "50% off everything in booth" and scoured the piles of linens at Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Soon I had a tote bag full, which I then washed in hot water with OxiClean and ironed carefully.
I cut a 4.5" square out of plexiglas to use as a template so I could actually see what I was cutting and used a small rotary cutter to get good clean edges. I won't bore you with the details of my stitching adventures, but let me say that I made a few mistakes along the way and had what my Grandma Tootsie used to call "a rippin' good time"! I used one of her damask napkins as a backing but without any batting---I didn't want the piece to be too heavy. And may I add that whoever invented the technique known as "stitch in the ditch" obviously did not wear bifocals.