Wow! It’s been just over a year since I wrote anything here. I knew I needed a break from the blog as I felt I was getting a bit stale…but I didn’t actually intend to leave for this long. Having said that, I know I am ready to return to blogging again. Although I am not any kind of brilliant writer, the process of getting words out of my head and onto the screen helps to keep my mind uncluttered.
So what has been going on this past year? Mostly it has been all about Peanut growing from a toddler into a little girl. It’s amazing how much she has grown. I am so lucky to witness this growth every day. And I am especially appreciative of it with the realisation (and the, only recent, acceptance) that I won’t get another go around at these stages.
With Peanut starting daycare a couple of days a week this year, I have been able to spend time focussing on two exciting things…our home renovation and starting my own business. I may save the renovation story for another time, but now that we are almost complete I have been focussing on the business. This year I have been making custom tshirt quilts for a woman whose husband passed away (and I will write about these quilts soon), and I am in the final stages of making the business official…so stay tuned.
Recently though a very close family friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The news really shocked and saddened me. This woman has known me since the day I was born. Barely a day went by as I was growing up that I didn’t see my ‘Aunty’ Peg. I was born the same year as her first born, and my sister is the same age as her second child. I was lucky to grow up in a small town where pretty much the same people who were living in our street 40 years ago are all still there. Whenever I go home to visit mum and dad there’s always a visit next door to the Lawson’s….or at least a long chat over the fence. Christmas has changed a little bit now for all of us, but to me Christmas is all about spending Christmas Eve at Aunty Peg’s with all our neighbours, and checking out what each other got from Santa the next day!
So, when I heard that she was going to be facing the challenge of fighting this horrid disease, I wanted to do something to help. I knew I had to play to my strengths….which is my creativity. So I set out to make her a quilt…something she could take to chemo treatments, or rug up in when she was cold, or just sit/lie on outside in the warm sun, have picnics on with her family.
The first step was to work out colours. I did a bit of secret squirrel investigation and discovered it had to be “all the greens”. To my surprise I had a pretty good collection of green fabrics already in my stash. Before I had decided on the colour though, I knew I was going to do a plus quilt. I had seen this plus quilt made by Leanne at She Can Quilts and knew instantly this was the quilt I had to make.
Now, I’m not known for my speed when it comes to making quilts. I have quilts in my WIP pile that I started 4 years ago and I’m still working on finishing the quilt top! So this quilt was going to test my focus, especially as I also needed to work on my commission quilts. But I’m pretty proud of my effort to complete this quilt from start to finish in a short space of time!
Piecing the top together happened pretty quickly, it was the quilting that took a bit longer. Even though I decided on simple organic (read ‘wonky’) straight line quilting, I mixed it up with two different colours in three different thread weights…yep, that’s right, 4 different threads were used to quilt this. So lots of threading and re-threading of my machine slowed me down. As usual I got about 20% into the quilting and started to doubt myself, but in the end I was really pleased with it.
I also decided to make the label something a little special as well, so I hand embroidered a little message to Aunty Peg. I called this quilt the Positivity Quilt….obviously it reflects the pattern I used, but it’s also about the positive vibes I’m sending out to her at this time.
To my surprise I completed this quilt in three weeks! A record for me….not sure it will ever be repeated but I’ll give it a go! I was also really pleased when my friend Bec (Aunty Peg’s daughter) called to say the quilt had arrived (Australia Post delivered it 2 days earlier than I had expected). She sent me the most beautiful video of Aunty Peg opening her gift….astonished may have been an understatement. By all accounts Bec had kept this little project a big secret.
To me this was just a small thing I could do to hopefully give this wonderful woman some comfort when she needs it, and to let her know that she means a great deal to me.
Details of the quilt:
Title: Positivity Quilt
Size: 50″ x 66″
Pattern: Plus Quilt
Fabric: Mixture…all from my stash
Quilting: Organic wavy lines using Aurifil 50wt 4182; Aurifil 40wt 2021; and Aurifil 12wt 2204 & 4182
Binding: Pieced from leftover fabric from quilt top
Backing: A folkish print…no details available
Favourite Part(s): The softness of the quilt at the end and the fact I completed it in 3 weeks!