It’s done, gone and arrived. I began this quilt almost two years ago for my Aunt Leslie Nadon. She is my father’s youngest sister – the baby of nine children and about 15 years older than I am. Yet we’ve been friends for decades and I spent much time with her family when I was a teenager. Her children – my cousins – were all born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although Denise, Dale and Michael lived good, full lives, those lives weren’t long enough and they have all passed on. My aunt taught herself astrology many, many moons ago and then taught me (actually, the word would be “practiced” in order to tweak the classes she taught to others) when I was 18. And that was also a very, very long time ago. When I saw these fabrics, I knew that I was making something for her. I think the design was old when I bought it, and I don’t see any of it around anymore, but the lovely 3.5 x 3.5 panels depict each of the Zodiac signs, and there is also an overall print that goes with it which I used for the borders. Each panel is surrounded by a friendship star in glittery fairy frost and the background is mottled dark blue/black with white dots to make it look like a starry sky. It turned out well from my perspective – my best piece yet. I had a few things to fix and did a lot of frogging, but when I finally threw it into the washing machine… it stayed together! I did most of it on my old sewing machine – the border was quilted on my new machine.
Aunt Leslie’s 67th birthday just came and went and I managed to finish it on her birthday, even if she didn’t get it until a few days later. Southern Ontario, where she lives, was in the middle of an intense heat wave when it arrives, so it’s not like it’s going to see any snuggling use in the near future, but she says she loves it! And I’m happy just to have made her happy. (Of course, I’m also happy to have finished it.) I also made the little mug rugs to go with it.
Actually, these little things gave me more trouble than the quilt did. I unstitched them so many times that I thought there’d be nothing left of the background fabric but Swiss cheese. I appliqued the houses, moons, etc. very badly – I did it by machine and the options for applique stitch on my old sewing machine were not very good. It all ended up fraying. I reinforced some of the blanket stitching by hand, and took out the tree applique. I replaced the trees with stitching instead, which gave it a nice ghostly appearance, but it also made the fabric pull and pucker, so I had to repair that as well by careful re-stitching by machine and hand. I told her that she couldn’t machine wash them because parts of them would fall apart, but they’ll make nice decorations on the coffee table.
Rusty and Ginger miss it, but they’ll get over it and move on to the next quilt – they always do. This is the same quilt that Rusty is lying on in the picture at the top of my blog. I spent hours trying to clean all of their fur off the quilt before I sent it, but I couldn’t get it all. They’ll be a part of that quilt for as long as it exists!
Until next time,