Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Wedding Quilt is Finished


My friend Michelle shared the above link recently and posted about her own crafting history.  This has inspired me to think about how I reached the point I am at in my creative life and to ask you about your own crafting journey.

Making things was normal in my family when I was a child.  Nanny and Mummy knitted, Mummy made our clothes and her own.  Both Grandads were excellent with wood and could always "knock up" something that would do the job.  Nanny taught me to knit and Mummy helped me with dressmaking.  At school we began with cross stitch and basic embroidery on binka and wove with wool on shoe box looms.  At secondary school my projects included a nightie, a rather wonderful fabric bag and then a rather less wonderful yellow corduroy trouser suit.  Then I discovered Clothkits and gorgeous folky creations followed, I especially remember an elephant print padded jacket.
Things came full circle when my children were born and I knitted for them and made quite a few clothes for them.  By this time, however,  it was becoming very expensive to buy wool and fabric compared with buying ready made items and I had a housekeeping budget to manage.
I did quite a bit of cross stitch, including samplers for the births of David and Sara, but usually from bought patterns.  When I returned to teaching in primary schools I did as much art and craft as I could, preferably at the expense of P.E. and anything with a lot of marking.  When time and energy allowed I started to explore various textile-based crafts.  I joined the local branch of Embroiderers' Guild and enjoyed some exciting residential courses.  I tried glove making, Mountmellick, tablet weaving, gold work, box making, beading, some rather progressive workshops that just seemed to produce raggedy looking pieces but were fun, and finally started patchwork on a project inspired by a stained glass window in Cornwall.  Patchwork and quilting has been my craft of choice for several years now and I have enjoyed exploring Japanese textile traditions, some fabric dyeing and some very inspiring workshops.  What was your path to where you are now?

Today I am celebrating a finish.  At Country Roads Quilters last week I finished The Wedding Quilt (with the exception of having some quilters' chalk to remove).  Wow, with seventeen days in hand, I'm impressed with myself and so grateful to bloggers who persuaded me from a Double Wedding Ring quilt, especially Susan Briscoe who said a medallion quilt was much more period appropriate with the passion of the bride for Jane Austen.  So, here it is:
Obviously I can't show you the whole thing until David and Jessica have seen it. You know that I used blocks appropriate to their relationship as I posted about these a while ago.  I bought the fabric for the final borders for the colours and because it had a more masculine theme than the other fabrics.  I later discovered that the design (from Fabric Freedom) is called "Pilgrim Fathers".  As David was born in Boston and some of the Pilgrim Fathers were imprisoned and tried in the Guildhall there, it is an additional link for him.

Thank you to everyone who wrote comments and sent message of support following Mummy's sudden death.  Her funeral was on Monday and it went well (as well as a funeral could go) and Daddy was happy with it all.  The funeral marked a line and on this side of that line we will live different lives, without her in them but with the memories.


  1. YOu've had an interesting and varied journey to your preent life in textiles Lis, thank you for sharing it. I shall have to get round to doing the same. Congratulations on finishing your quilt with time to spare, I'm sure it will be treasured. I'm glad, if that's the right word, that your Mum's funeral went well. I do think it helps if you can feel satisfied that you got the day right. Your Mummy will still be very much part of your lives as you go forward, you will hear her voice and feel her presence always.

  2. I came to patchwork and quilting in both different and similar ways, Lis. I'll post about it later on my blog. Right now I have Suzi two weeks post c-section and as she can't drive or lift till week 6 I'm doing a great deal of all that. My new grandson is a dear little chap but he doesn't leave much time for sewing. I'm really glad you have finished that exquisite quilt and I'm looking forward to seeing it whole in all it's glory.The death of of a loved parent is always one of those "boundary" times in our lives. Both my parents are gone and now I am the "older generation". It's a strange feeling. I still miss them a great deal but it does get easier and you get to remembering the good times as opposed to grieving.

  3. Thanks for sharing your quilting story Lis.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt, I am sure you'll be happy to have it finished with time to spare!

  4. I loved reading your journey through crafts! Congratulations on finishing the quilt with time to spare, I'm sure they'll love it. Glad you and Dad felt the funeral was appropriate, very difficult time, but something wonderful in a few weeks :-)

  5. Congratulations, this quilt was a great committment of time, passion and love.

    I love your story, as you I learned the basics when I was a child and I used to sew for myself and the children (not much, witha full time job and 4 kids...).
    I have always been a knitter, discovered weaving a few years ago, and then I took several workshops on different textile techniques, finally setting on embroidey.
    Thinking of you and your family in this difficult moment.

  6. Oh, I am looking forward to seeing the WHOLE quilt!
    It was interesting to read how you became a quilter. I guess most of us (our generation) learned and got inspiration from our mothers and grandmothers.
    Saying farewell to one's parents is hard but also an important step towards being able to manage without them - it IS a way of growing up.

  7. I too am looking forward to seeing the whole quilt! I'm sorry you are grieving. A wedding soon will be a joyful reminder that life goes on, and that those of us on this side of the line must live it. I enjoyed reading your background story. I will write up mine sometime. Your blog is lovely!

  8. Your story of stitching, knitting, and quilting fascinates me, a varied journey, and now we share with your blog and all others. your Mum's funeral, life has changed in a flash, but memories and your love and hers in your heart are always there.Beautiful quilt, lovely couple, stitching finished in time, a treasure in their life. Cheers from Jean


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x