Monday, June 13, 2011

Stitching love

For me, one of the neatest things about being involved in the world of patchwork and quilting was the connection with those who might be inspired by one of my designs. I found it incredibly cool to see how someone else interpreted one of my designs or used it as the starting point for something else. I’m not actively involved in quilt design these days (for now) but the happy connections still trickle in occasionally.

Last September I received an email from Janet in New Zealand. She had picked up volume 8 #4 of Country Patchwork & Quilting while in Queensland on business and hoped to make my Paradise Quilt for her new granddaughter, Plum (best name ever, yes?). Back in New Zealand, she gathered the materials and took them, pattern and all, to visit Plum’s family. But a flash flood hit the car and, though Janet survived, her patterns were soaked. She emailed asking if I could send a copy of the pattern. Of course I could.

A few days ago, I received another email from Janet. She’s completed the quilt and little Plum is now its delighted owner. Janet attached pictures and I was so delighted with how she interpreted the design. Appropriately, Janet has used plum tones and referred to the nursery rhyme ‘I had a little nut tree’ to add quirky variations to the tree. She also replaced the birds of paradise with ‘festival kiwis’, designed by Plum’s father for the Wellington International Festival of the Arts some years ago. Janet writes that the original version of the festival kiwis ‘had a kiwi with nikau feathers attached as its tail (kiwis don’t have a tail)’.

The final result is amazing. I love that Janet shared her end product with me and I love that this is a quilt with true history and significance – an artwork that tells a story of a little girl’s origins and a grandma’s love. Which, to me, is basically what quiltmaking is all about.

* * * * *


Laura Elizabeth -- oh have I ever seen the half-season finale of Doctor Who!! Eeh, such a twist! I was quite delighted and shocked. (PS. freeform poetry all the way! I was incredibly nervous about writing and sharing the poem -- free verse! so pretentious! so ridiculous! -- but I feel like that's all part of the challenge.

Samantha R -- Thank you so much for your encouragement. I'm sure I wouldn't have even tried this had it not been for your enthusiasm when I discussed it :).

Asea -- ooh, I have not read The Trumpet of the Swan. Must find!

Staish -- (and I you!)


  1. What a beautiful story!
    Can you teach me how to stipple - pretty please??!

  2. How beautiful! That personalization and the stories that it tells is the best part of quilting, I think. Stitching together generations. :-)

  3. Beautifully done! Janet is amazing and so are you :)
    I love how she personalized it for Plum!

  4. Wow, wow, wow!! I didn't even know you were into quilting. Is there no end to your talents?? Congrats to Janet for such a beautiful end product and congrats to you for your original design.

    Haha, yes! Freeform poetry ftw :) I think I just write prose and then start a new line whenever appropriate and hope no one will notice! Thank you for your very kind words re: my 'poem'.


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