Friday, November 12, 2010

Springing Into Action

Mentioning the quilt for my sister-in-law's 40th birthday in my last post has made me finally spring into action and actually do something about getting it finished. Kay had her birthday in May (a mere six months ago!) and she has been patiently waiting for me to get on with it. It's partly the patience which has spurred me on and partly the observation by my ever observant daughter that I should really try to get it to her before my mother-in-law arrives for Christmas.....

The idea for this quilt came several years ago when my mother-in-law sent me a package with several pieces of family embroidery. I was (and still am) collecting them up for a quilt I plan for my daughter. It is still several years away - maybe for her 21st. Anyway I showed the pieces to Kay and she said that the piece below had been on her dressing table when she was a child. It was stitched by her mother's cousin, Mavis Grey, who died last year. This of course gave me the idea for a quilt for her and given she was 40 this year, it seemed the perfect occasion. In the interim I collected a number of similar embroidered sets in the fan shape to add to the quilt.

The other significant family pieces I put into the quilt is the small piece below. This is one of two which are on each side of the main fan. These were stitched by another sister-in-law of mine, who died in 1985. I had met Jill a couple of times but didn't really know her well when she died unexpected. She was the eldest sibling in the family, while Kay is the youngest. Jill's embroidery is lovely - I think we would have got on very well together.

The quilt top has been finished for a while - actually within a couple of weeks of the actual birthday. I never normally show a quilt in progress to the recipient as they change so much through the quilting process. However I felt so bad about not having this finished in time that I did show it to her. I was also worried that my mother-in-law would mention it to her as I had told her that I was putting these special pieces into the quilt for Kay. She was delighted with it and moved to tears as I told her about the providence of these pieces. Can't ask for more than that!

So two days ago I decided that she had waited long enough and started the quilting. Its a big quilt so it be a quick finish, but finished it will be!I think this will be the last of these type of quilts for a while - I would hate to be too predictable. It's my third and I think its time to develop some ideas that have been brewing in my brain for while. But first this needs to be finished. I'm putting a grid onto it, with variable distances of 3/4inch and 1inch gaps, which will result in an irregular grid pattern. It's being quilted with a variegated cotton thread in pale pastel tones - and its starting to look different already, as they do.... I'll keep you posted on progress.


Jacky said...

What a special quilt for your sister in law... lovely to have all those memories for her.
I love hearing about where each embroidered piece came from and why they are special to her. Never to many of these quilts, but I am looking forward to what you have planned next!

Jacky xox

Lisa said...

I just don't know whether I love the embroidered pieces the most, or the beautiful floral fabrics you choose to use with them. Perhaps it is the the very special combination of the two.

This weekend my husband wants me to unpack some boxes which are lurkin the garage and I've been finding excuses, but seeing this has reminded me that there might be some old linen stored out there so I'm feeling a little more motivated - LOL

Dana W. Fisher said...

Dear Philippa,
Thank you so much for the message you left me at The Quilted Librarian. I loved learning about Kate Shepherd's role in the women of New Zealand's getting the vote. You are so right. The history is fascinating and it's so important to keep teaching it to the women of today. All the best to you and you daughter.

I love your blog and am so pleased to have found it! You are now on my feed! The quilt you shared for the Blogger's Quilt Festival is so rich and so evocative of one's memories of friends.

Warmest regards,
Dana Fisher
The Quilted Librarian