Tuesday, October 21, 2014

won't you be my neighbor | a quilt looking for Eleanor

Edit: I gave this quilt to a baby girl named Eleanor who was born to parents who had lost their first son right around the time I had Finn. His name was Henry and he was stillborn at 39 weeks. They went on to suffer two miscarriages and eventually began the process of adopting a little boy. Just a few months before his adoption was finalized they welcomed a baby girl into their family. I wanted to give her this quilt because she's home, here on earth, with her family, rather than home in Heaven like her older siblings. I made another "home" quilt for her adopted brother, too, as he has a forever home with his new family. I hope and pray that their quilts bring them warmth and much comfort, and that always remind them of home.

Last night was a productive one for me. I finished writing thank you notes for Finn's birthday (albeit much later than I would have liked to but at least they're done now!) and I finished binding my 34th quilt. Did you catch that? My 34th quilt! I counted them recently (you can see about 2/3 of them here - the rest will be on the blog soon, I hope) after completing my biggest quilt ever. Thinking about all those quilts had me remembering how I started with this crazy craft of cutting fabric up and sewing it back together. I learned to sew in 2007 (I think... it might have been 2008), making a pencil skirt at the home of one of my high school friends with her mother, Lorraine. Lorraine is a master seamstress and can make anything, and she is always willing to share her time and her skills with others. Around the same time my mom and I took a class at RISD to learn how to batik, which is an Indonesian technique using wax resist to dye fabric. We ended up with lots of pieces of our hand dyed fabric, but none of them were large enough to make anything with, or so I thought. I mentioned it to Lorraine and she immediately suggested a quilt. Making a quilt would be a great way to showcase the fabric we dyed, using all the small cuts of cloth and creating a keepsake along the way. So Lorraine taught me how to make a simple patchwork quilt and I learned how to chain piece, too. You can read more about my first "quilt" here. Anyway, after that first quilt I was addicted, making a baby quilt for my cousin's daughter from one of Denyse Schmidt's books. It seemed appropriate since Denyse is a RISD grad and it was a class at RISD that got me into quilting, in a way. Thirty four quilts later, with a few commissioned projects along the way, I've finally decided to sell some of my work.
The quilt pictured is called "Won't You Be My Neighbor" and it's the first one I'm listing in my etsy shop, the tiny hummingbird shop. I'll be listing more quilts in the days and weeks ahead as well as a few other fun little handmade items. Visit the shop for details and the story behind the quilt. Please take a peek and spread the word! These quilts are made for snuggling and are looking for good homes :)

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