Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Quilt's Debut Appearance

"Lisa's Quilt Post Series, Take 3" *CLAP!*

"Action!"


After much thought, I decided to make this quilt to depict my children's background. Their heritage.

The top part of it emcompasses the Irish side...this is their Dad. It was also more personal to those they know on their father's side of the family and those that have passed onto the other side. I actually wonder whether the top half became more prominent in a personal sense, because their Dad and I are now divorced, and I spent more time thinking about showing them that we were still friends, and that side of their background was still important to me.

The quilt is upside down in this picture, so you can see the irish part of it at the bottom of the photo. This is the top sheet only, taken when it was still on the sheet on my floor. Each 9 inch block is made up of a piece of material that means something to them. There are clouds to represent their grandmother and the heaven she now resides in. Butterflies representing their aunt and her free spirit (also passed on). Bumble bees represent their grandfather who used to keep beehives in the backyard and furnish his neighbours and friends with an endless supply of honey (not to mention the honey mead..phew! that's some mean shit.) When I asked the boys what reminded them of their granddad, they both chorused "Lollies!". Each time they visited him and still to this day, he has a large container of sweets beside his chair that he offers his grandchildren. So there is also a certain amount of lolly patterned material in the top half (in 3 inch squares).

There is also a block of material with vegetables printed on it...their grandfather always maintained a huge vegetable garden. (Wow, I didn't realise just how much of their grandfather was in this until now. I suppose taking into consideration he's the oldest living member of those represented in the quilt, it's not a bad thing....he'll be 86 this year.) There are two 9 inch blocks of irish green tie-dyed cloth, top left and top right...I am planning to handstitch a celtic cross on one...a four leaf clover on the other.

The bottom half of the quilt represents my side of the family. The polynesian half in particular. Blocks of material in this half show the beautiful hibiscus flowers the pacific islands are proud of...colourful tropical fish, coral reefs and turtles....deck chairs, sandy beaches and sunshine. All the little squares of material that break up the big blocks are patterned with tiny english flowers (my mum) and various other patterns that are appropriate for whichever part of the quilt they've been sewn into.

Several 3 inch squares form a burgundy diamond shape in the centre. In the middle of this diamond are a few things representing New Zealand. There are kiwi birds, native New Zealand flowers, native ferns, and some colourful cartoon pictures of computers with smiley faces (had to put that in, it's one of their favourite past times). Can you believe i couldn't find any material with sheep on it until AFTER I'd sewn all the pieces together!?? Typical. This photo was the one I took the other day, spread out on my bed. The white you can see at the head of the bed, is the inner batting.

On each of the four sides, there are two zodiac signs. Eight on the quilt in total. They are the zodiac signs of each of my sons (Virgo and Aries), one each for their parents (Cancer and Pisces) and one each for both sets of grandparents (Sagittariaus, Pisces again, Leo and Gemini).

The back sheet is made up of three large blocks of fabric. Ireland, New Zealand, Polynesian respectively. (Incidentally, the polynesian fabric at the bottom on the backsheet is the material I refer to below with regards to 15.) I wanted this Quilt to show bright happy colours. I wanted it to be fun and colourful, which is why I chose to use so many 9 inch blocks that have comical prints in them as opposed to the traditional pictures. I wanted it to have a feeling of warmth when others looked at it, yet have meaning.

Back when I was still sewing:

15: "That's so cool Mum, can you make another one the same so I can have one of my own?"
Me: "Eh?? I haven't even finished this one yet and you want me to start another??"
15: Well, ok. How about if we take turns with it on our beds then?
Me: "That, I can live with at the moment."

Interesting that this came from the child that hadn't shown much of an interest in it. There was also one particular pattern of material that he really liked. It was a print of hibiscus flowers and ferns mixed together....in beautiful greens and bluey greens etc. He mentioned he'd like a shirt made out of it. Should I ever get around to making one for them both, I'll be sure to include that print in 15's. I never made a shirt for him...as far as I'm concerned it was rather bright...although, he'd never have been lost in a crowd when wearing it.

Writing these posts and the comments from you have made me restless about the Quilt's existence. I'm getting an itchy 'pedal' foot and the feeling of something stirring in the back of my mind. A feeling that is pushing it's way forward.

I'm going to have to finish this Quilt...and I'm going to have to do it soon. The prospect of that has me feeling rather excited now. Let's face it...we can all do with some extra excitement in our day...even if it's to do with sewing a quilt and not what can be going on under it.

"Cut! That's a wrap people. Great stuff."
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