Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scrappy Trips

A couple of weekends ago I went to our first Guild retreat for the year. It was a last minute decision for me - we have had a summer seemingly without end and I wasn't sure that I really wanted to spend a weekend inside quilting when I could be enjoying yet more sunshine without a hint of a breeze. What won me over was the prospect that, if I put my mind to it, I could probably just about finish a quilt for the new niece that was due to arrive shortly into our wider family.

I had wild ideas of making up a quilt pattern that I'd been holding onto - however it is always useful to read instructions properly before starting on somewhere new, especially if you are away from home. I had nothing to make templates from so I needed to think quickly.

I'd seen lots of the Scrappy Trips Around the World quilts and the tutorial from Quiltville 
and thought I could probably remember, off the top of my head, how to make this. So off I set.

I had taken lots of soft colours with me so I started cutting these into strips and sewing

and before I knew it I had enough blocks to start playing with. So many options

so much fun to be had,

and best of all, so quick. Just after lunch on Sunday I put the final quilting stitches into the quilt.

And a week later Sophie Grace made her appearance over in Townsville. Perfect!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Friendship is the backbone of life

I'm pleased to report that although I've been sadly missing from this blog, I have not been missing from my sewing room. I've been having a highly productive summer - as ever I seem to perform well to a deadline, and this has certainly been the summer of deadlines.

This has been the summer that I have become the parent of a school leaver (one down, two to go) and it's therefore been the summer that my daughter and her friends have prepared for the transition from school students to university students. Many of her friends  have chosen to go to universities outside of the city we live in. It's a big transition for all considered - for the students and for their parents.

For some I've been able to help them on their way with a quilt. This is the third of what I am increasingly thinking of as part of my university series. You might recall that several years ago I made a quilt to remember a special friend who had died of breast cancer - I wrote about it here.

This quilt is for her eldest daughter - it uses a number of the same fabrics I used in the quilt for her mother and a similar pattern based on an idea from Kaffe Fassett. I think of it as a related but different quilt, just as Alice is related but different to her mother.

When I gave her the quilt Alice was stunned speechless, not something I have often seen from her. It was lovely to be able to send her off with something special, but the reason that she raced to the 'top of my quilts to be made list' was due to an off the cuff comment she had made a month or so earlier to my daughter when they had been out together.

My daughter had told her that we were making a quilt together for her friend who was having chemotherapy and Alice's response stunned us both - she asked if she would have to wait until she was ill before I would make a quilt for her.

Needless to say, I didn't think that was necessary and she raced to top of the list. The label carried the same words I stitched onto her mother's quilt - Friendship is the backbone of life. 

So that's three quilts that have gone off to universities with new owners - two to Dunedin and one to Christchurch. A good output for a summer - and there are still more to come.