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Online Quilt Festival!

April 20, 2009

Ooh ooh ooh! For awhile now I’ve wanted to be a part of a quilt festival, but have never had a whole quilt in my possession that I could show. But wouldn’t you know, a virtual quilt festival is happening!

It’s being hosted by Amy at Park City Girl and goes all week long! Be sure to click over and check out the nice long list of participants and all of their beautiful work.

So here is my entry. Or rather, entries πŸ™‚

This is a mosaic of most of my favorite quilting projects over the past year. Some are completed baby quilts, some are mini swapped quilts, and some are blocks I’ve sent swapping.

I love quilting. I think what I love the most about the process is coming up with the original design concept, and then wading eyeballs deep through fabric, thread, drawings and paper to finally present my lovely creation. I never expected this hobby to be such a rewarding pastime!

Many of my favorites up there are original paperpieced designs. I stumbled across this technique a few years ago and once I finally figured it out, I was completely hooked and addicted. If you’ve never tried it, you really have to give it a go! Oh man there are so many amazing patterns out there, and so many for free!

One extra special quilt, which has taken me nearly a year to be able to post about, is this one:

Last spring, we learned that my hubby’s pregnant cousin was coming from the other side of the country to visit. And even though we only had about a weeks notice, I just couldn’t let her leave without a baby gift from us!

So, in 5 days I whipped up this little quilt. The goal was to use whatever I had in my stash. the top is a nice red fleece, and it’s backed with a soft flannel – white with orange duckies. It measures 31″ x 36″ and is based on this darling little piece of wrapping paper I’d been carrying around with me for over 10 years.

It’s created by Helen Rhodes : http://www.helenrhodes.com/ The young parents to be were 19 and 20 (I think?) and I wanted to make something really vibrant and cheerful, something a different from the faded pink and blue you so commonly see for baby stuff.

I machine appliqued each frame together, using fluffy red fleece for all the red parts and used smooth satin ribbon for the edges so that it becomes a touch-filled experience for the little one.

I also used a different free motion quilting for each frame, and snuck in some messages to discover within the embroidery.

There were a couple of firsts for me: First time using machine applique for a quilt top,Β  and the first time adding a label – which I hand embroidered. Oh, and the first time I ever made french knots! If I had more time I would have done some free motion quilting along the red chunks and finessed the cat’s faces better.

This was my first time doing this peacock feathery quilting…oh I love how this one turned out!

Can you see the word sing I snuck into the quilting?

Can you see the hidden words in this one?

Every child should be encouraged to do this:

The daisy flower block:

and the juggling kitty block:

my first handstitched label:

Here it was all wrapped up the night before it was given:

Boy. So much love went into this quilt. I laughed and cried and poured everything I had for 5 days into this gift. I don’t know, but I just knew that this baby would find a lot of comfort in this quilt. I imagined her/him exploring all the different textures, and growing up to point out the kitty’s faces and count the balls. And then, later on have fun discovering all of the hidden messages I’d so lovingly snuck in for her/him to find.

The young couple loved it, and left to then show it off to the next family members they went to visit in Calgary. I then received phone calls from my Mother in law gushing over how beautiful and thoughtful the quilt was and how the baby will just love it!

Fast forward to August, and we get the phone call. The one where we were supposed to be told that the baby was born and everyone was happy etc.

But that’s not the message we received. Little baby Cali was stillborn, after a gruelling day of labour and natural childbirth. It was suspected that she died shortly before the mom went into labour. I don’t know if they ever found out the cause, but I remember it was right during the height of the big unsafe sandwich meat fiasco and they suspected the sandwich the mom ate the day before.

*sigh* I’m still brought to tears remembering all of this. And I wonder what’s become of Cali’s special little quilt? I’ve never had the heart or the nerve to ask. It was such a hard hard time for my hubby’s family.

This news came shortly before the last baby I was to make a quilt for was born. I must confess that I was so heartbroken over the news, I just couldn’t bring myself to make another baby quilt just then. If you remember I finally finished and gifted that one last December.

Anyway, I didn’t mean for this post to be such a sad one, but I figured that this special little quilt and it’s beautful little recipient needed to be honoured in my first quilt festival!

Thank-you so much for hanging in there through my long winded post, and be sure to check out those other entries of this fabulous online Quilt Festival!

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2009 7:22 am

    I looked at the mosaic and thought “my favorite is the one on the bottom left” then I scrolled down further and it was the one you highlighted. Thank you for sharing the story that goes along with it. A gorgeous quilt for a very challenging time.

  2. Catherine permalink
    April 20, 2009 7:28 am

    Your story brought me to tears. What a beautiful quilt, such a tragic loss.

  3. April 20, 2009 9:41 am

    What a sad story for your family. But what a cheery quilt. I like the trim around the blocks!

  4. April 20, 2009 3:01 pm

    A sad story and I understand, having been in the boat of finishing the binding on a quilt when we learned the news of a death in utero. It was heartbreaking but later, when I drummed up the courage to talk about the quilt I made, I found the talk had some healing qualities as well b/c it was clearly a celebration of a life, even though it was so short lived.

    Now, that said, the quilt is beautiful and I can truly see why it’s your favorite. I love textured quilts for babies/toddles and have been doing them since I started quilting!

  5. April 20, 2009 4:50 pm

    Beautiful and creative quilt! I’m sorry that the story ended so sadly.

  6. April 21, 2009 3:21 pm

    Thank-you all so much for your lovely comments! I’m glad I finally posted about that quilt, it has been surprisingly therapeutic actually. Hasn’t this been a great quilt show? I think I’ve gone through at least half of the blogs by now..boy there sure are a lot of great quilters out there eh?

  7. April 22, 2009 8:44 am

    I just heard about the Quilt Festival yesterday and am pondering my entry. I’m so glad to see you’re participating. Your pieces are all so quirky and happy, even with such a sad story. Thank you for sharing.

  8. April 22, 2009 10:26 am

    Oh my goodness, you really have been busy. All of your quilts are great. I, of course, love the baby quilt that’s your labor of love. Great job!!!!

  9. Penny G permalink
    April 22, 2009 9:27 pm

    What a tragic story to go with such a beautiful and creative quilt. The whole room full of stuff probably sat a while as the wounds of the unexpected death healed or at least became less fresh. When their next child is born you will probably hear the disposition of this quilt, but whatever happened the quilt you made showed them your love.

  10. April 22, 2009 11:12 pm

    Your quilts story is beautifully sad – I’m so sorry for the family’s loss. I hope that your quilt has brought comfort to the parents – it was so lovingly made.

    All your mini’s and swap blocks are great – I need to try paper piecing still πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. April 23, 2009 2:13 pm

    YOur story is so touching. Such an awful thing to happen. I can see why it means to much to you.
    I really like the mosaic of your quilts. They are wonderful. YOu really have done a lot of work on very different types of quilts. Very nicely done. I especially like that one using the NY Beauty blocks in a circle. That’s a challenge.

  12. April 23, 2009 4:32 pm

    I am so moved by your compulsion to love with all your heart so much that it hurts. I understand the feeling of losing a small one, even one you never got the chance to know. This is a very special and dear quilt that you’ve so lovingly made and thank you so much for sharing! You know, the young couple will treasure this and have it to hold in comfort and in memory of their loss. I love how you showed the little snippet of inspiration which bloomed into something so amazing! your applique is adorable and I love the special quilting so much! You are such an amazing and thoughtful artist! And of course I’m such a fan of your quilting! I’ve probably faved almost every single one of those! You rock, Sonja!

  13. April 23, 2009 6:00 pm

    What a sad story, but it’s wondeful to know that there was already so much love for that little babe.

  14. April 23, 2009 9:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing the story, Sonja. What a special quilt.

    I enjoyed the collage of your quilts. Thanks for thinking of me! πŸ™‚

  15. April 25, 2009 4:05 am

    Even people who aren’t sewers know how much love gets put into every quilt that is made. Your little quilt is a real tribute to you. I’m sure your quilt was cherished, no matter what may have become of it.

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