Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Fire Quilt Finish

It feels very surprising to finish a quilt with an almost 2 week old in the house. And something in me feels cautious sharing it here. Like we're breaking all the rules of chaotic life with a newborn. Like I'd be communicating that we're breezing through and I'm a total pro at this mother-of-three thing.

A few weeks ago, I was telling Tim that I felt like I was living as if I had 2 weeks left to live. That everything would end (and also begin) when the baby came. Life as we knew it, my self as I knew her. But in reality, I'm getting just as much sleep as when I was heavily pregnant, I'm thriving in the cooler Autumn temperatures, and my mum, sensing that I was getting twitchy after my fairly sedentary caesar recovery, has been pushing me back to the sewing machine.
"Sew! I'm only here this week! Make the most of it! Here, let me take the kids for a walk." Isn't she wonderful?

So while she's looked after the washing and the kids, I have spent the last few days feeding, snuggling, and stitching. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next week. But it's been a lovely reminder that life has not ended. It has in fact, continued, and I am still me, still needing to make space for colour and solitude when I can, in order to breathe.

 I've had this quilt-as-you-go quilt top sewn up for a while, made from squares generously sent to me from all over, when I put out the request about a year ago after my friends' house burned down. My friend Jodi and I sewed the squares together in bigger squares of four, basted them to scrap wadding, quilted them, trimmed them and arranged them into this light-to-dark composition. It took forever. But it was a great way to have 2 people make a quilt. And Jodi is a great person to make a quilt with.

 This week I asked another friend to come around and help me baste it, and then I spent the next couple of evenings tying it together with grey wool. I used an Ikea single doona cover, opened out, to back it, and yesterday managed to bind it, wash it and dry it, ready for our first family venture out of the house with a newborn. I figured Tim and Caitlin wouldn't mind us christening it as well as taking photos. A queen size quilt makes a great size picnic blanket!

And isn't it beautiful? Such a vast array of prints, styles, colours. All brought together so wonderfully (if we do say so!). I'm so thankful for a generous international community that is quick to jump in and participate. Thank you. I was truly humbled.

The venture was much more what you'd expect of an outing with a newborn. Fussy baby, excited children, local fish and chip shop closed much earlier than we got there. See? Not winning at everything. But we are having fun, mostly. And the colourful quilt and sunset over the city make up for the rest.