Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Houses Quilt

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!


  1. What an interesting way to record the different houses that you have lived in, I so love this idea. After seeing all your beautiful quilts I am tempted to resurrect the miniature quilt I started about twelve years ago! The tale of how your quilt came about was emotional but it does have a happy ending.

  2. Yes, get that little quilt out! And just think of all those lovely silks and paisleys that you must be able to get in Bangalore...

  3. That is adorable! I can't believe you lived in so many houses. I am in my 3rd house and have lived in it since I moved out of my parents home in 1987. LOL! I guess I resist change.

  4. Well, Yvette, there's a lot to be said for staying put - I can certainly see the attraction. Strictly speaking, there are five addresses for my parental home but I've counted them as seven because we lived in two of them at two different times(!) One is a student house and the rest are either rented or owned after we were married and these moves were in response to my husband's job; England to Germany, then England, Holland and back to Germany. It looks like a lot but we spent 10 years in our first house in Germany and have been at our present address for seven years. I do hope we move at least once more, though, so I can fill in another house!