Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The quilt for the little sister or my first venture into recycled materials
Believe it or not, while I was working on Austin's quilt, I was also working on his sister, Bella's quilt as well. I decided I wanted to get them both done by Christmas and sent out to them as Christmas presents(originally, I was aiming for early November, their grandmother's birthday to be exact). Remember, Maryell and Sarah probably thought I had forgotten all about making the quilts for the children so my delight in surprising the children was also about surprising Maryell and Sarah!
Bella's quilt was another one where I pursued a different direction in quilting. I had been picking up interesting pieces of fabric and curtains or other household linens for some time. I'm not sure when I picked up the hand appliqued ladybug curtains but they had been lurking in my creative attic for some time and I decided they would be perfect for Bella.
Now Bella was a baby when I last met her and I was taking a chance she was not afraid of bugs, ladybugs in particular. From her mother's and grandmother's words, I got the impression that she was a very funny little thing, a lithe spirit, a lovely and lovable child so I thought I might be okay. I didn't want to ask because I didn't want to tip my hand.
The center square is a design from a Debbie Mumm book and the borders are almost completely made of three pair of recycled curtains: the ladybugs,
the embroidered flowers and vines, and the lime green gingham check with embroidered rosebuds (at the very edge of the ladybugs). For a genuinely old fashioned look and feel, I batted the quilt with a flat cotton batting. I contemplated leaving the edges of the quilt scalloped but couldn't make the idea work to my satisfaction. It is quilted with both stitch in the ditch and free form quilting. I am particularly proud of the quilting in the center square. Straight lines are so hard to do. The quilt measures approximately 72 inches square.
On the reverse side are two lovely pictures of Bella which I took off of her mother's facebook page! Bella is very outgoing, I am told and it is clear to see she has a fun-loving spirit and open heart. Bella in Italian means "beautiful" so next to her pictures, I monogrammed "Bella, Bellisima (little beauty), Molta Bella (very beautiful) Isabella Sue" I did not know her middle name (or I had forgotten) so I wrote to mutual friends and asked them to ask Sarah on facebook what it was. Then when Sarah replied, I would and could read her response to them as if she were responding to me. We are sooooo sneaky! I sewed lovely ladybugs, flowers and round buttons all over this quilt as an added touch. What fun.
I started both quilts in August 2009, cutting them out on a hot summer night sitting on the front porch. As most of the work was done in Autumn, that is the date stamp I used for the quilts. This was the fastest I had ever made a large quilt up to that time and to have made two in five months' time is just remarkable for me who can take years to make a quilt! I shipped them out on December 15 with instruction to open immediately then I waited to hear how they were received. I waited, I waited, and I waited some more. For TEN DAYS! They saved them for Christmas morning and they were a huge hit! I sent letters with the quilts addressed to the children, to tell them the story and make the connection between the quilt, the quilter and them as owners of quilts.
Sarah said I made Maryell cry. I love you, friend. I miss you every day.