the bagel quilt
Ah yes. Last minute sewing and the airport. Remember earlier in the year? Sacha’s nightie? Thankfully, this time we didn’t have to take the needle and thread. But, in order to get some half decent photos of the quilt top that we didn’t finish until 1am that morning, I needed a little photo shoot at the international terminal with Mum and Caleb’s quilt (my aunty mary’s sister-in-law helen’s daughter Elena’s new son Caleb – got it!) before she dashed through the departure gates on Saturday.
We bought some of the fabric way back in January (lots of the coloured pieces were from my stash) and I know there were very different plans for Caleb’s quilt, but when Mum saw the donut quilt I made several years ago, folded on the back of the sofa, she decided THAT was the quilt pattern she wanted. Such a totally different colour combination – but that’s something I really love doing because despite being made with the same pattern and techniques, a quilt can sing a completely different song when it’s made in different fabric. This donut quilt sings of gardens to me – lots of smooshy grass, lovely flowers and rain, rain, rain. Whereas Caleb’s quilt is bursting with intensity and energy.
It’s a pattern I came up with myself (obviously not an original design – plenty of donut quilts out there :-) one night – fiddling around with squares and half square triangles – and whilst there are lots of little pieces, it’s not at all difficult. Bit time consuming. But oh so effective when you finally get it together. And I love the construction technique I worked out. Even if it does require the meticulous lining up of all those pieces!
Initially, Mum was confused by my constant reference to the orange background. ”But it DOESN’T have an orange background!” she would protest. And I would repeat, truly it does! You just have to wait for it to pop out. And pop out it did. Yes, it’s a very satisfying quilt to make.
It was a glorious team effort – I love sewing with my Mum. I did all the cutting. Mum did most of the coloured corners. I did most of the rows. Mum did all of the ironing and pinning. Then, whilst she “cooked” dinner I pieced the flying geese borders.
It’s been years since I pieced some flying geese … I had to look up my own tutorial (which remains one of my most popular posts ever – in the top three hits every day for blockaday!). It was so satisfying, I’ve pulled out the pieces of a long-ago-started quilt top made up of almost all flying geese. Completely inspired, I am! (Oh, just in case you’re confused by the above photo – that red fabric was double sided! You do NOT place your squares right side up :-)
Now, in a perfect world, we would have finished Caleb’s Bagel quilt (should really be Bacel Quilt … or his parents could rename him Galeb!) completely – batting, quilting, binding and all. But we didn’t. So Mum’s planning on taking it along to a local quilt store in Vancouver and having it machine quilted. She’s there for ten weeks – should be long enough :-)
Of course, I won’t get to see it done. Bummer! But I do love what took off Saturday morning – the colours are so vibrant and there are many lovely pieces for Caleb to find and make his own. There’s even some in there that my wee nephews will recognise. I can just hear and see them, pointing out the fabrics and saying “that’s from my quilt!” Isn’t that one of the most magical things about quilts – they tie us all together with their warmth.
And those red, blue and brown flying geese – they totally do it for me. Now the dilemma is … do I sit at the machine this evening, the iron by my shoulder, stitching and cutting and stitching and cutting. Or do I snuggle down on the sofa with Abby’s Blaithin. Hmmmm … what a pleasure – and gift – it is to have such prettiness at my fingertips.