With A Little Help From My Friends
©1991 by Ami Simms
55" x 70"
The pattern for this quilt came from an ancient Roman floor I found at a place called Ostia Antica just outside of Rome, Italy. I was “collecting” floors that could be interpreted in cloth for my fourth book, “Classic Quilts: Patchwork Designs From Ancient Rome.”
This particular pattern was from the First Century and it was really cool to know that in drafting the pattern I was going through the same mental gymnastics as some stonecutter some 2,000 years ago.
The quilt had a magnificent hand appliquéd border, similar to the one it has now, but not quite. Apparently my gymnastics routine was not as good as my predecessor’s. While the pattern in the book was accurate, my example in cloth was not a perfect “10.” Of course I learned this after spending every spare moment I had on a teaching trip to New Zealand hand stitching the border. I only realized my error after I returned home and happened to check the original slide.
Faced with a looming deadline, I did the next best thing. I asked my friend, Maggie DuPuis, who can piece ANYTHING on a machine what to do and she showed me how to almost invisibly appliqué a new border in place by machine—and just in time. I finished the quilt, made the deadline, and With A Little Help From My Friends now lives on the front cover. (The magnificent hand appliquéd border lives on the back of the quilt!)