Monday, January 28, 2008

Stashbusters are having a stay-at-home retreat this weekend, and I have been busy in the workroom. This morning I bound this quilt; I lost the binding last week and discovered it this morning behind a trunk while I was vacuuming. Sometimes it pays to do housework. Most times it doesn't.

I finished quilting the Night and Noon yesterday, and had fun with it. I put lots of different patterns on it, just experimenting, and because that's how I always intended to hand quilt it all those years ago. It's hard to believe it's done at last.20 years ago my daughter had just turned 1, and I was already 6 months pregnant with my son. I had endured 5 months of awful morning sickness with her, and 5 months with the second baby. I was not feeling particularly wonderful, which was tuff luck as far as DD was concerned. She was a bundle of energy, and I spent my days dragging my pregnant self around and keeping her out of trouble.

It was Australia Day, and we had planned to go to a fair in the park, where DD could run off some energy and I wouldn't have to cook lunch or tea for anyone. I was holding my darling child, who had been fed breakfast and was ready for anything that involved movement; being restrained made her yell, and yelling made her bring up her breakfast.

I don't take well to being vomited on at the best of times, but it was a low spot that day. I don't think I moved for a whole minute, just continued to hold the child and wonder how in heaven's name my life had come to this. Then I cleaned her up, changed my clothes,washed the floor, made myself coffee and informed my husband that I would not be available that day. I locked myself in the back bedroom, which was my sewing room, and cut out this quilt.

I made templates and traced them onto the fabric and cut it all out by hand. I laid out the pieces for each block on a tray, covered them with a piece of paper and built another block on top. It took all day, and lots of coffee, and I enjoyed every bit of it. There were only a few moments each day when I could sew, and having it all prepared was vital. I knew I was building myself a little emergency kit with those pieces; when the other baby arrived there would be even less time to sew.
I deliberately chose every bright, clear colour I had in the stash (which wasn't as large as it is now). I wanted this quilt to be the antidote to everything in my life that was dragging me down. And it was. It was pieced in the busiest time of my life, when often there wasn't even time to finish a seam before something else needed doing. But this quilt has always made me feel happy and grateful; what on earth would I have done if I hadn't had my fabric and patchwork to rescue me.

On our trip to Jamestown the other day I took photos of this memorial in the main street; I love that hand holding a bunch of Forget-Me-Nots. I have several images of hands, I must put them into a collage one day.
I'd best get back to the sewing room, it's a quilting retreat after all, not a computer retreat. I'll just look at some blogs while I have another coffee, and some of these Swedish almond cookies.....Yumm!


Vicki W 2:40 PM  

Both quilts are lovely but I really love the story behind the Night and Noon quilt!

antique quilter 7:27 PM  

great story, that quilt will always hold memories for you. Funny how quilts we make can remind of times in our lives. I love the close up of the quilting, is it hard to do that many starts and stops?
love the quilting inside the stars, fun to look at and nice that they are different.

May Britt 7:42 PM  

The night and noon quilt is wonderful and the story is great. Memories is good to have.
Love the way you have quiltet it. Is there a pattern for this quilt somewhere or is it your own idea.

YankeeQuilter 10:27 PM  

Great story to go with the quilt! Just goes to show it is never to late to finish...


sewprimitive karen 1:50 AM  

What a quilt story! How well I remember motherhood times like that.

meggie 9:00 AM  

I loved that Night & Noon quilt, & once I read the story behind it, I love it even more. The quilting is just perfect.
Thankyou for sharing the story.
I never had quilts for my days like that. I knitted, so guess that was my 'retreat'.

Anonymous,  9:46 AM  

You have a way with words. Quilting has definitely been (and continues to be) therapy for me. I guess I'm not the only one. Canadian Gail

Purple Pam 9:57 AM  

What a wonderful story to go with a wonderful quilt. I know I felt that way often when I had two small children to care for. Then the third one came along. Thank goodness he was a sweet baby! That's just about the time I started quilting. Isn't it great how quilting has aided many of us in our times of need? I am so glad you finished Night and Noon, and it has good memories for you.

Karen 9:18 AM  

I really enjoyed looking at the pictures of your quilts. I have seen several Carolina Crossroads but none in your color combination. Good job.

Lynda (Granny K) 10:43 PM  

Quiltmaking is the best antidote to life's difficulties I know! It helped to keep me sane during divorce and being a single parent.

Karen 12:34 AM  

Keryn, I love the top quilt, the one you found the binding for. DId you make up the pattern, or is there one available I can get?

Quilts And Pieces 2:10 PM  

Oh both of these is are so wonderful!

julieQ 8:43 PM  

Love the story as much as the quilt. YOu brought it to life with your quilting, it is so pretty!!

MARCIE 8:52 AM  

Even 20 years ago you had an amazing stash! I love all those little "old-fashioned" fabrics. And your quilting is wonderful!

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