Wednesday, 3 February 2010
This is a quilt to record all the places that I have lived - there are 30 houses and I can embroider addresses under 18 of them. I need some more embroidery floss of the right colour to finish; only half of the addresses are there at the moment. I got the pattern for the houses from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville. Bonnie always has such good ideas and I loved her quilt 'Happy Houses' but I didn't want to do the tilted jolly houses, partly because I didn''t want to do a load of long triangles and also because I knew I wanted the addresses and a calm, restrained look.
The great thing is that I did not choose the fabric. I would never have chosen these colours or patterns. At the time I made this we were in extreme financial difficulties (ironically, caused by a house!) because we were paying rent here in Germany, a mortgage for a house in Holland which we were trying to sell and international school fees. I was making mini-quilts to be economical. But a friend of mine moved back to England and began volunteering in a charity shop there. Someone donated a pile of fabric. Although my friend, Anne, is not a quilter, she immediately realised these were fat quarters and offcuts from other projects. She put some money in for them and brought them to Germany. I was able to use some of them towards the last quilt group fundraising quilt and the rest gave me my happy houses. Really, the only reason I can think of that quilting fabric would be donated to a charity shop is if the quilter died or was for some reason unable to continue with her project - quilters never just decide they don't like quilting any more, do they? Anyway, I am so happy that her fabrics were not just dumped but found their way to me.
This is a special quilt for several reasons: it enabled me to connect with an ex-quilter and give life to her fabrics; it reminds me of the good friend who kindly gave them to me; it is entirely hand-sewn - yes, every single stitch, even the binding, because I wanted a project I could carry around with me and so I have many happy memories of where I was when I sewed different bits; it made me happy when we had a lot to worry about, and lastly, it is a real heirloom quilt because it is a record of my life which I can keep adding to if we move again.
Oh, I feel quite emotional, time for coffee!