Wednesday, 30 July 2014

3 Special Quilts for 3 Special Girls


A family that I've known my whole life recently lost someone very special.  Sonja was loved by so many, not least by her three beautiful daughters and her husband.  I'm not great with words, I never know what to say at times of such sadness......so I usually don't.  I am brilliant at saying very little and shying away from situations when I probably should say something thoughtful and profound.  Sonja's three girls, Kelsie, Alisha and Sofia are pretty amazing and I wanted to do something to let them know that I'm thinking of them.  I might not say the right things (probably the very opposite in fact) but my heart is with them during this terribly rough time. 

So, I had started the Economy Block Along a few months ago and realised that the fabric I had chosen to feature really reminded me of Alisha.  It has a couple of different Riley Blake fabrics that show a little girl picking apples, feeding the chickens, going camping and all sorts of other activities.  Alisha, in all the years I've known her, has been up to something interesting - whether it's fishing for mackerel with her aunty G, baking with her nana or crocheting but she's always seems to be doing something!  So I was about half way through this quilt when I realised that this was her quilt and it gave me more pleasure to finish it with her in mind!


I loved the colours in this one.  I got to use any and every type of fabric and overall eclectic effect is just fun!   I decided to hand quilt it so it took a while but it gives it a nice crinkly effect I think! 

                                              


I had a few extra blocks left over so I added them in to the backing and then I used offcuts from all the blocks to make a scrappy binding.  I think I love scrappy-effect quilts most of all, they're so girlie and fun!



 Next, I moved on to little Sofia's quilt.  I am an unashamed lover of paper-piecing so I found some patterns online that featured lots of different Fairy Tales and I thought they would be perfect.  Sofia is just 4 and a little fire-cracker - full of personality and has a lovely cheeky glint in her eye.  I thought she might find it fun to tell the stories in her quilt.

Each block features a different fairy story - The Ugly Duckling, Snow White, The Three Pigs, Puss In Boots and more........ the only one that didn't really stand out to me was the Three Pigs so I asked Sofias lovely Aunty Gina to make me some piggy buttons to help that block and now I love that block!!!  Gina has always been a whizz with Fimo, since forever (!), and she really helped me out with this despite the fact that she was heading to America and is still very much dealing with losing her lovely sister, Sonja, herself.  I really love that she had a little part in Sofias quilt - even though she didn't even know what the buttons were for!


                               

The last block in the quilt has a bookshelf full of books and I added some embroidered words to personalise it for Sofia.



Tada!  (Can you name each fairytale?)


And finally........... Kelsies Quilt. 
Kelsie is that bit older than her sisters and I didn't want to make anything too childish for her but I wanted it to be a bit of a memory quilt for her too.  I decided to make a family tree, a little reminder that she's surrounded by so many of her family when she's missing her mum.  


I didn't have a pattern or anything for this so just drew out the tree freehand appliqu├ęd it and the leaves and then embroidered all the family names putting her own little family at the top centre and then all Sonja's family to the right - including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and the same for her dad Clives family to the left.  One little leaf is awaiting a name of the newest cousin, who is a little boy, due in October!

I asked for a little help regarding Kelsies colours and was told greens and pinks....... thankfully, her lovely granny and my lovely friend, Heather, said we got it right, phew!  I quite like the colours myself.  I had planned to machine quilt this one but in the end I decided to hand quilt and keep all three the same in that respect.




Finally, I wanted to put one patch on each quilt that was the same and to show that it was kind of in memory of their mum, Sonja.  The fabulous girls in WeSewCrazy Galway helped me out here.  I told them that I would like to put a patch on each quilt that would have the cancer awareness ribbon for the type of cancer that Sonja battled with and also a little something to do with Irish Dancing because every childhood party that I can recall,  Sonja was "the" Irish Dancer of our little community.  Every party I went to as a child, you could be sure that Sonja would have us clapping along.  And each of the girls learned too and eventually we were cheering them while they danced so I thought it would be nice to add that little momento!
 

Imagine how perfect it was when Fiona, from WeSewCrazy Galway (who happens to be a twin mum like me, so we had loads to gas bag about when I collected the patches) came back with a little image of an Irish Dancing girl with RED hair and a YELLOW Irish Dancing dress........ just like Sonja had years ago. 
The girls at WeSewCrazyGalway were sooooooo good and donated the patches for my quilt and I want them to know I really appreciated it so much! 


So I delivered the quilts last week.  It's been just over 3 months since the girls mum passed away and these quilts were meant as just a little reminder that they're surrounded by family and friends who love them very much.

xx Naomi




Sonja (Gardiner) Kubath with her big brother Alan, many years ago..... in that adorable yellow dress!













Friday, 11 July 2014

Whooooooosh.............. that's the sound of tumbleweed.....

My poor blog, I feel like I haven't visited it, much less posted in ages!  The problem, if you'd call it that, has been that I've been working on gifts and when you work on gifts, you can only post about them so much because you don't want the receiver to know they are for them before they get them! 

So, I just finished three different quilts this week.  Hooray!  I will hopefully get them wrapped and gifted in the next few days and then I can show them properly!

In the meantime, I finally got to make some bunting!  I was assured it was the "easiest thing in the world" (Roisin from The Quilt Shops favourite line) but I'm always afraid of cutting up fabric for something I've never made before!  So Roisin made me delve in one day in the shop.  She needed some bunting to advertise the letters that can be bought for personalised projects and I learned that yes, it is rather easy.  Now I'm addicted! 

So I stocked up on more bias binding. I love to make my own for quilts but at 80c per yard, this stuff is brilliant.  My favourite is the candy stripe red, you can't see it in the picture above but it looks fab with the navy flags!


Then, after making a set of wedding bunting in the shop, I wondered why I wasn't making any for my own house?  Then my 10 year old asked could he help me with anything and so I gave him the lovely job of picking out some nice solid colours, some funky robot fabric and I got making!  I got my letters cut, of course, at the Quilt Shop and my big boy picked the right letters for the flags and Wow, but my small boys are so happy with their new "flags". 

Check out little Levi's proud face........he loves his side because it has a green flag, his favourite colour.  I must thank my 10 yr old for reminding me to put green in his name!!



So that's me and my new favourite thing............bunting!  The husband wants me to make some now for outside before bbq season ends and who am I to complain when I get to put something pretty swinging from the trees without the men-folk (of which I'm surrounded here) giving out about the girliness?