Hello there Friend!
What a relief to be in a new week. Last week was a bit of a dramatic political mess. I had to turn off the news stations and sit at my sewing machine to stay distracted from all the upheaval. God help our country!
Off to better news, I received a fantastic response on my first blog giveaway. As promised, a January Pincushion pattern is on it’s way via email to the giveaway winner. Thank you to all who now follow my blog. If you want to see the full pictures of my finished pinnie cushion go to my Instagram account and follow along with more behind the scenes pictures. I’ll have more on the “Year of Pincushions” series throughout the year.
Now, may I introduce to you a very special lady in my life? My Nana Carol. She’s a firey woman with a great sense of humor, a heart bigger than the state of California and a dear friend that listens to my silly ideas without ever cutting me down. My Nana has offered great comfort to me in times of personal distress. I’m so grateful for her.
As you already know by reading my first post, one of my intentions for the coming years is to make quilts for those I love and focus first on the older members of my family. I want them to know what they mean to me and the best way I know how to convey such a message is to create a handmade item. My Nana was the first one to pop into my mind.
She lives a state away and we don’t get to visit often. We have frequent chats that run on for hours because I want to know all the family insight, history and experiences she can share with me. I go to her with questions of God, life and purpose. Some deep conversations that roll into laughter. What I share with my Nana is quite personal, but I know that no matter how off the wall my comments are she never holds them against me. A friendship that has no judgement, I’m eternally grateful for.
As the years have gone on, my Nana is now struggling with her health. There are times where I wish I could do more to help lift her burdens but my abilities are limited. Could a handmade quilt bring any comfort? I don’t know but I’ll try it.
First was the decision of what pattern to make. There’s a vast range of quilt patterns I’ve had on my to-do list but I knew my Nana would not be interested in a modern design, nor a classic farm style quilt as she’s never showed any interest. That narrowed down my selection. The pattern needed to symbolize a message, one that I knew she could connect with. I was drawn to this Tilda’s World pattern, “Mosaic Birds Quilt” as the birds reminded me of white doves; which are the symbol of love, peace, and the Holy Spirit. My grandmother is a believer that loves the Bible and I knew she would appreciate it. Thus the name, “Holy Peace.”
Next was color scheme. This was a no brainer, my Nana has blues all throughout her home. My mosaic design had to be made with a wide range of blues, which is easy because it’s one of the colors I use often in my projects. A deep dive into my fabric stash and I was able to find some lovely Tilda blues along with Poppie Cotton, Art Gallery Fabrics, Riley Blake Designs, ummmm I can’t remember the rest but you get the picture. Lots of pretty blue fabrics.
The online pattern was easy to follow, I traditionally pieced 20 white dove blocks in a cinch. The large white bird pieces helped the blocks come together quickly. At this point I was quite proud of myself. With the the sashing in place I took a look at the quilt top and was… not happy at all. It was very obvious to me that the scrappy wide range of blues did not work out how I’d imagined and if I had more time I probably would have pulled it apart. With the short Christmas deadline, was no going back. I decided that the quilting would have to be reimagined to somehow blend the blues a little more. Would it even work?
While preparing to machine quilt I came to another roadblock, with our recent move I had misplaced my walking foot and could not quilt my sandwiched pieces. Freak out time! I had no choice but to start hand quilting, FAST! I had to meet my deadline and was down to a few weeks. To get the most stitches in each block I made a two inch grid design with a dark blue quilting thread on the blue base. It took longer but with every stitch I started to like the quilt top more and more.
The hand quilting completely saved my quilt. It really tied in the blues together and outlined the doves nicely. The hand quilting design on the doves was taken directly from the Tilda’s World pattern. I think it would have been a shame not to use their suggestion of feathers on the birds. Those Tilda designers are pretty smart.
My “Holy Peace” quilt was finished just in time to ship out for New Year’s. Haha! Not quite the Christmas deadline I hoped for but close enough and my Nana understands. I’m usually running a little behind anyway.
What really matters is that she knows it was made specially for her. I hope it brings her comfort and peace as she does to me.
What family member is next on my list? Stick around to find out.
with love, Jasmine