Friday, 29 October 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival Autumn 2010

It's that time again! Time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!
Amy over at Amy's Creative Side hosts this wonderful Online Quilt Festival twice a year, thanks so much Amy! This is my third time participating, and seeing as I haven't completed any large quilts since the Spiderweb I featured in the spring, I thought I would show you an older quilt that I have never posted about.
Regular readers will will probably recognise this Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt as it is the one featured on my header above. I actually finished it nearly 2 years ago, a few months before I started this blog, but it took me 7 years to complete! There is quite a nice story as too way I started making it in the first place, so if you are sitting comfortably...
Almost 9 years ago, a very close friend of mine, Donna, became seriously ill with a strange infection. She was in intensive care and they had basically run out of ideas as to what was wrong and how to save her, she was hours from dying when one of the doctors found a match to her symptoms on the internet (4 other people in the world were documented with this bug) and a way to save her. Another big hooray for the invention of the internet!!
So Donna got better but she had a long stay in hospital (which involved me joining her there for a night after a car accident, but that is another story!), and when she got home she was still so weak that she needed a long convalescence.
I really wanted to do something for Donna to help her through this really tough time, so I decided to give her the gift of patchwork. Donna had never made a quilt before but she wasn't averse to sewing and I knew she could manage some paper piecing.
A hexie was the first quilt I ever started and I had loved the hand sewing, collecting fabric remnants, and watching it grow (I STILL haven't finished quilting that quilt, after 20 odd years, but you can take a peek at it here). So I put together a kit with a ton of paper hexagons, a little booklet I wrote with instructions and diagrams, and then I got my stash of fabric out and started cutting out a big pile of hexagons.

Now this was in the period right between what I like to call my 'first age of quilting' and my 'second age of quilting'. I wasn't really doing much crafts at all, I was busy with our business and also writing fiction. I had been really obsessed with making art quilts, but I think I peeked too soon! So at this stage I was only making quilts for the odd gift and they were the quickest, easiest ones I could manage.
When I started cutting out the hexagon shapes for Donna, I started to get excited about my fabrics again. I had made quite a pile when I realised that I was getting jealous of that pile, I wanted to make a hexie quilt again too! So I started cutting another pile for me!
Donna really loved her patchwork kit and I think it helped her get through months of being too weak to do much more than a little hand sewing. She still hasn't finished it ( I like to think of it as a 'sister quilt' to mine) but I got her to send me a photo of it anyway.
Meanwhile, I spent the next 7 years turning the hexies into a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt. I loved the portability of it, being able to pick it up in odd moments for a bit of comfort sewing, and buying some new fabrics for it! By the time I had started hand quilting it I had fallen in love with quilt making again!

This is a really special quilt to me as it is the one that lives on our bed and that we sleep under everynight. I love to gaze at it as I drink my coffee in bed in the morning (I have the BEST husband in the world who brings me a capuccino with chocolate sprinkles every day!), different fabric combinations are always catching my eye and inspiring me.
I would happily start another one of these as, like a good book, I loved making it so much I didn't want to finish it. Maybe I should volunteer to finish Donna's for her?!
Right, seeing as you have all sat so nicely listening to my story, you can now click through to Amy's Quilt Festival and check out the hundreds of other amazing quilts listed! Thanks for your time!

44 comments:

  1. What a wonderful wonderful idea to make a hex kit for someone to while away the time while convalescing - it's not the first time I've heard of quilting being used as some sort of "therapy: - Cherri House has been talking about it this week as having helped her get over an abusive marriage. And I love the fact that your quilt is actually used every day on your bed rather than stuffed in a cupboard somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely quilt, congratulations:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely story! Two beautiful quilts too. I haven't yet been brave enough to try paper piecing or hand sewing (mine is a bit on the rubbish side!) but when I see lovely quilts such as these as spurs me on to try to have a go

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your quilt and your story and will keep checking in on you. I found you through Valentina. I am stitching hexagons as therapy at the minute and feel they are the sewing equivalent of comfort food.
    Shirley.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A beautiful quilt and a lovely story. You are a great person helping your friend like that and I am sure she really appreciated it and it helped her through a difficult period. The power of quilting!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great story and gorgeous quilt! Again I am wishing that I could sew.
    x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great story and a really cute quilt. Hexagons are such fun and you can do so many things with them, even help friends in need :) I love the fact that this quilt is a part of your every day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely hexagon quilt. It must be fun looking over all the different fabrics in the quilt. i love doing that with my own quilts.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great quilt - I have a tumbling block that I did by hand that took me 5 years!! So you're in good company!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a wonderful way to help your friend through her convalescence. Your quilt looks lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A great story to go with a beautiful quilt! I think it is so cool that your quilt has a little sister quilt out there with your friend. That makes it extra special. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very beautiful hexagon QUILT is work!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a beautiful quilt this is! Great story, I got so caught up in it that I ate way too many chocolate cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I loved your quilt when I first saw the photo of it, and the story made it even more special.
    I am making hexagon flowers at the moment (on and off), and plan on joining them with light fabrics in between each flower just, as you have done. It is so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  15. beautiful!! And what a thoughtful gift for your friend!! I have been wanting to start on hexagon quilt for quite some time, but I am stumped at what size hexagons I want. Ones that would use 2 1/2" scraps would be great, what with leftover binding strips, and you could easily fourth a 5" charm with no waste..... but that size seems a bit hard for me to handle... and so I sit, hexagonless. Isn't that so silly?!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm so glad you showcased this quilt and what a lovely story behind it! I have always been intrigued by it in your header photo and now I know all about it. Making up the kit for your friend was such a lovely thoughtful gift!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a great story to go with your quilt. The stories add so much meaning to quilts that it is a shame they get separated so often.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful, beautiful quilt. Scrappy quilts are always so warm and interesting. So enjoyed the story behind it as well. Glad the internet was able to save Donna. It's an amazing thing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful quilt, great story - I love these quilts so much but I'd never make one! I'm too scared of all the time it would take, lol. I'll just look at yours and dream!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a beautful story to your quilt and the one Donn a is doing..sister quilts...I love that!
    capuccino with chocolate sprinkles every day..yum!!
    Julia ♥

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are a good writer! I loved your story. Now I want to hear about the car accident :) Glad your friend was lucky to return to health and you both got to play with fabric for an extended period of time. This is a wonderful quilt. Thank you for sharing your quilt's story.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a beautiful quilt. I love the story behind it, thank you for taking the time to tell us.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful quilt and a beautiful story! I love these little handstitched hexies. And I'm sure it's fun to find fabric you forgot about within all the different flowers. What a labor of love!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a fabulous story and an amazing quilt. I am mad about hexies at the moment and may even get to finishing a 70 year old unfinished hexie quilt I picked up at auction a few years ago.

    Your quilt is just beautiful. You should be justifiably proud.

    ReplyDelete
  25. hooray for a GFG quilt - touching story

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautiful quilt and a great story! I'm very impressed by the patience of anyone making a GFG...yours is so lovely with wonderful fabrics!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love this, and your spiderweb!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love the idea of quilting being a gift. Thanks for sharing your quilt and your gift

    Benta

    Benta@SLIKstitches.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow--that is one beautiful quilt!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a terrific idea - it is sometimes hard to find something that will help someone who is in a difficult situation- So glad you found something to help her and inspire you. Quilting is about joining and connectedness- never mind that one gets to pat lots of beautiful fabrics.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful story- it is a gift that may help to inspire others to pick up needle and thread.
    Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
    Anna

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am always in admiration of anyone who is patient enough to complete one of these quilts. it is beautiful! And I think the story about your friend makes this quilt even more special!

    ReplyDelete
  32. A beautiful quilt and a wonderful story to go with it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. oh this is so beautiful, and thanks for sharing the story.

    ReplyDelete
  34. A lovely quilt with such a nice story.

    ReplyDelete
  35. what a great story...and a beautiful quilt

    ReplyDelete
  36. In deed special quilt with touching story! Thank you for sharing your memories! And I love this quilt - most beautiful colours with white (which I like so often to give clear and fresh look for the other colours)!
    That Quilt Festival is fantastic idea and opportunity to share and see wonderful quilts!
    Best wishes from Crete!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow what an accomplishment! This quilt is absolutely gorgeous! I have never made a hexie quilt but its on my to do list. This quilt is so inpirational and quilting is the perfect thing to pass the time that for some goes too slow. What a heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing! xx

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a beautiful hexagon quilt and a lovely story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great quilt. Love the story behind it. it's all about sharing... isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Loved reading the story behind this stunning hexi quilt. I adore hexi quilts and your is gorgeous. Quilting is wonderful for bringing people together and helping through a healing stage, what a blessing to be a quilter! xo

    ReplyDelete
  41. lovely quilt and what a sweet story. you were so kind to help your friend and inspire yourself at the same time. thanks for sharing and have a great day. sometime i might try hexies...think they're so sweet and fascinating

    ReplyDelete
  42. just noticed you're from edinburgh...my dear grandmother was from there and grew up in the donaldson school, then left there for nova scotia when her older brother and guardian wanted her in his home. thankfully, she moved on to british columbia and met my grandpa!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love the quilt, in mine i also use all kind of colors and dessins. O have a question. Did you quilt the quilt ? And how did you do the binding?

    ReplyDelete