Friday, 21 May 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2010

First of all, welcome to my blog if you are new and welcome back if you've visited before. I discovered lots of lovely blogs through the first Quilt Festival that Amy organised last year and that made me decide to start a blog myself to share a little bit about my work. This year, I will take the jump and participate in my first ever online Festival: I started quilting about 2002 with an applique quilt I made for my cousin's birth. In 2003, my parents were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary so I decided I would make them a quilt. Even though I was still a beginner, I had my heart set on making a double bed quilt and it would have to be a double wedding ring of course. The anniversary was in June. After shopping for the perfect blue/purple fabrics in a few local quilting stores. Armed with John Flynn's book and method, I started cutting my first few strips in May. Of course my quilt would not be finished in time for the date but I was progressing slowly. My Dad had been in remission for just over a year but he was having really bad backache over the summer. Nevertheless, he brought my Mum and a couple of friends over to us in August for the first ever Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, which us 3 ladies attended. We saw a double wedding ring quilt, that my Mum commented as too traditional to her taste, not a great start really....

Anyway after the Festival, I decided that I ought to finish my quilt to be able to give it to my parents at Christmas so I started working on it more regularly. And then I decided that I should really finish it by the end of October, just before Hubby and I were due to leave to go on our 3-week honeymoon in Asia. I thought it would be nice for my parents to have "my blanket of love" while I was far away. My Dad's health was not getting better and by the end of September we had been told that his cancer had come back. So I spent most of my evenings in October sewing and quilting and working on that quilt to be able to give it away before our departure. I finished it one week before the leaving date and went back home to spend the week-end with my parents. My Dad was in hospital so I gave the quilts to my parents in hospital. They were happy and moved and admirative (like parents always are). I reminded my Mum about her comment in Birmingham when she said she thought double wedding ring quilts were too traditional to her taste and asked her if she wanted me to take the quilt back but she said she wouldn't give it back.

My Dad was discharged from hospital at the end of the week-end so he was finally able to sleep under *his* quilt when I left to go home for the one and only night. Few days later I got the dreaded call from my Auntie telling me to come home as my beloved Daddy was so unwell. We went and spent the last few days in hospital by his side while he was slowly slipping away from a life which wasn't really his life anymore, relieved from all the physical and moral pain of this horrible disease but leaving us so sad and lonely. Mum covered him with *my blanket of love* when he was returned to us before his funeral. And Somehow, there was this invisible force pushing me to finish the quilt that I would have never finished if it hadn't been done before his leaving us.


I am so glad that he saw the quilt I made for him and the quilt is now even more special to Mum. She keep it quilt on her bed, to warm her for all these lonely nights.
To move on with her life, she decided to have a new house built a few years ago. Since I had some fabric left from the double wedding ring quilt, I decided to make her a *house-warming* quilt called "A quilt, a story". I choose some blocks from the "Dutch Treat" book (after she visited and looked at the book commenting how lovely the blocks were). I picked 40 blocks, based on the name of the blocks and the significance it could have to my Mum and made her this quilt to hang over her bed. I also wrote a *story* based on all the blocks name to make them relate to my Mum's life story. It took me a couple of months to finish. She came over for a week-end last year in February hoping to meet her new grand-daughter. But Baby Daughter had other ideas and decided to be late coming. So there was no new Baby all week-end long but a new quilt for Mum who was thrilled to bits with the quilt (but unhappy Baby Daughter was not showing up!). It is over a year now and she still hasn't hung it in her bedroom, she has it on display in her living room so anyone coming to see her can/has to admire it!
This is the story of very special quilts for very special people in my life.
Off to the sewing machine now because it is Friday Night Sew-In!
Celine

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful quilts! And a beautiful story to go with them! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely DWR-love the shading! So glad your Dad got to enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your story brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a wonderful story. It sounds like you have a very close family. Your quilts are so full of memories and love. I'm so glad got to snuggle under one at least once.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oops! I meant that I'm glad you Dad got to snuggle under one once. I think I had some tears in my eyes ....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Celine, I love your story and the two quilts are beautiful. I think the double wedding ring looks contemporary because of your fabric selections. I love the way the dots and your positioning of the fabrics, make the rings fade in and out. I hope you post detailed photos of the second quilt some time. I'm following your blog now, so maybe I'll see that some day.

    BTW, my quilt for this edition of the BQF was made for my mom. http://minkasstudio.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-first-quilt-was-tablecloth.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful quilts, congratulations:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great intrepretation of the traditional DWR, so glad your Dad got to sleep under and that it comforted your Mum too. I recently appraised a quilt made from the Dutch Treat so I know how much work is involved-kudos.

    Come see my festival posts
    1890 antique double pink blazing star
    http://utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com

    1890 antique cheddar star and reproduction http://starleyquilts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Both quilts are gorgeous. Your story touched my heart. I need to go get my kleenex :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing your story. I had a similar experience making a quilt for my sister-in-law who used it daily in the last few months of her life.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Celine..my name is Celine too! Well its funny that we share a name AND you made my favorite quilt that I've seen on the quilt festival yet. I LOVE the wedding quilt. The use of color is awesome and the story behind it is beautiful. I am glad that your dad was comforted with this quilt. It is special when a quilt has meaning and soul. Thanks for sharing. Im #199, Sew Lovins. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Both of your quilts are absolutely beautiful, and even more so because of the story and memories behind them. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. what a beautiful story...and the quilts are delightful! may your mom enjoy them for a LONG time yet!

    ReplyDelete
  14. *sniff* Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for the story. Great set of quilts, very beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wonderful story. So glad your Dad got to sleep under his quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a wonderful story, and a beautiful quilt; I'm glad you followed the leading you had to finish it quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a lovely quilt - and I sure can understand that you are glad you got it done before your Dad passed away. Thanks for sharing the quilt - and the story!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Celine,
    What fantastic quilts - I love the stories of your quilts- your double wedding ring quilt is amazing- I have made a wedding ring quilt and it is a challenging quilt to piece.
    So glad you finished your quilt in time for your father to sleep under it. It truly was a quilt of loving stitches.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,
    Anna
    http://quiltmomsjourney.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. They are both beautiful quilts, with a lovely story too. Thanks for sharing them. From a fellow-UK quilter

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a lovely story to go with two beautiful quilts. You really have a good eye for color.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a touching story and a beautiful way to remember for your mum.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The perfect post to rejuvenate as you remind all of us the love and longevity of quilts and how they can truly become a quilty hug during life's transitions!! Thanks you for resharing your heartwarming story.V:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed reading it once again as it's always good to be reminded one of the enduring reasons we quilt.

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. I love reading your comments and I always try to respond to everyone. Thanks again and I hope you come back to see me.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
There was an error in this gadget