Sometimes unfavorable circumstances happen in life that you have no control over, either to you or someone close to you. At those moments your life stands still for a while, but not for long. After all, all you want is to be there to comfort, to encourage.
This is what I experienced in recent months. Someone very close to my heart had her baby at 28 weeks and had to stay for two months in the hospital. Quick arrangements needed to be made. As the family dogs often spend time here, it was clear they would stay with us.
thankfully, I can tell that the baby is doing very well now. A delightful child!
Unfortunately, one of the precious dogs died, also completely unexpectedly, at our house. It just didn’t seem possible. Yet it happened! All this left a deep impression on me.
I was already brainstorming which unique gift I could make for this precious baby. Something special, that’s for sure. All of a sudden, I had my Aha moment: a quilt with the family’s animals on. It would serve as an everlasting reminder of the pets that were in the family at the time of the baby’s birth!’
The idea was discussed with my husband. It would be a joint project. He designed the quilt pattern in procreate. He also has the skill to digitize embroidery patterns. Ideal! Soon photo’s of the four legged friends were collected to get digitized. It took a week to finish the job.
Once we saw the embroidered result, we could confirm that the animals had kept their identity. Together we went looking for fabrics in the family’s color palette. Since we don’t have a quilting shop nearby, we had to choose alternative fabric. Quilting is not that popular in Belgium. We chose plain gabardine. Strange choice perhaps, but it worked!
Step by step I watched as the quilt came to life. Since there are five animals in the family, I made sure each one got its own spot. The two dogs, the horse and the two cats were embroidered in the middle of a square. It was my intention to place each animal in a frame. In order to achieve this, I sewed a border around each square.
The other fabrics were cuts into rectangles, laid out according to the pattern and sewn together. First came the plain row, followed by the row with the dogs, which consisted of two rows of rectangles. Next was the row with the horse, followed by the row with the cats, and finally the last row.
A quilt is upgraded, I believe, by adding a border. First I added a plain brown narrow border.
The outer border had to be something unique. A few years ago I had bought a jelly roll from moda called civil war jubilee. I thought the fabrics were so beautiful. In fact, too beautiful to use unless I had a very special project. Now I had. Don’t you think the border fits the quilt beautifully?
To layer the quilt, I sought some advice to ensure the best possible result.
Next came the quilting. To decide which freemotion pattern to use, I made the choice to take a craftsy class. I decided to quilt the areas outside the frames with a woodgrain pattern, occasionally interspersed with a bambu pattern.
I’ve always liked trapunto. What if I gave the animals a 3d effect using trapunto for this purpose? The result pleased me. The animal heads pop out!
Last but not least, the borders begged to be quilted. Here again I could use advice. Luckily I found a craftsy class to help me out. Once finished I could look with satisfaction to the quilt. The binding completed the project.
Making this quilt taught me a lot! It was a long process that took several months. A quilt with a story I put my heart and soul into. Have you ever made a special quilt? I’d like to see it.