Friday, 1 August 2014

a gift

I love handstitching. I love the time for thinking, processing, praying. I love it when Tim chooses scary movies and I have something to focus on apart from the film. I love it when visitors come, or when I have a meeting. When I want to be sewing but also need to listen to Evie's long and convoluted story about the princess and the power ranger. I'm sure I listen better when my hands are busy. :)

I started this quilt two years ago when my lovely friend was struggling to conceive. After a conversation where she had confessed that she couldn't wait till I could make something lovely for a future baby of hers, I thought it would be nice to make something sooner, something that would remind me, while stitching, to pray for health and peace and patience, and a new little one for them.

The pattern is Rachel's Modern Medallion, from Stitched in Color's Handstitched Class and each round of the medallion includes a different handstitching technique. I highly recommend Rachel's classes!

Well the more I stitched, the less I was convinced that it was my friend's style. Isn't it challenging making for others, without completely second guessing yourself? I replaced the centre with something different to my original choice, I chose brighter colours than the earlier rounds of Loulouthi which are very 'autumn'. Still, I was unsure. And then, miracle of all miracles, she fell pregnant! And slowly but surely, the quilt became neglected while I dreamed up fun and sweet baby gifts.

She had stayed in my "I don't know what to do with you" box for about a year, when I found out my cousin, another quilter and Anna Maria Horner appreciator (I like to think I introduced her), found out at her 20 week pregnancy scan that her baby was high risk, his organs weren't forming properly, and she needed to prepare for the worst. At the beginning of my own pregnancy with Finlay, I was devastated for her. I decided the best thing I could do was bring out the quilt again and keep praying.
Following surgery immediately after birth, Naomi's baby stayed in hospital for 2 months before, miraculously, wonderfully, she was able to take him home. You can read her honest and beautiful story here.

I've told a couple of people while showing them this quilt, that I was making this for my cousin.
"She must be a pretty special cousin!" has been the common reply.
And she is special, and I do like her a lot, but I don't think the recipient of a quilt can be valued by the time put into it. Sometimes it feels more like a gift to the quilter, wouldn't you agree? Thousands of kilometres away, little old me with my 3 kids and small house, can do this one thing that's extra special. I used to be the person wishing I knew how I could help, wishing I could do something. Now I can do this. Something that can hopefully, humbly, be a physical expression of all those hopes and prayers and tears, given for that precious little boy. And the much longed for little boy born to my friends last year. And for other dear friends and their wishes for babies and partners and other things that haven't come along as easily as they hoped.

Yes, I do love handstitching.


  1. This is so beautiful Jodie. And a testament to you persevering in prayer, and to a God who answers those prayers. I love it so much xxx

  2. Such a sweet story, Jodi! It turned out perfect!!

  3. The quilt and story are so lovely. I do find its (quilting) one o those thing you can do when you feel like you cant do anything else. And perfect for every occasion!

  4. This is what I love about you Jodi! You are so selfless and the time you pour into these quilts is inspiring. I struggle to sit still in my day, but you bear the fruits of your patience and commitment. Love your stories! xo

  5. What a beautiful story! You are right, we quilters are so lucky to be able to do that extra special thing for our friends and family. I also took that Handstitched class from Rachel but my quilt is still a WIP. I have 2 borders left to add before I can start quilting. You have given me the urge to pull it out and work on it. Thank you!

  6. "Sometimes it feels more like a gift to the quilter, wouldn't you agree" - I absolutely agree.

  7. Choosing the colors, the fabrics, seeing it develop as you stretch your creative wings - yes, making a quilt is such a gift for the quilter. Thank you for pointing this out. When I give quilts to friends or through do. Good Stitches there is this funny feeling I have inside when folks admire that generosity. I think you put your finger on it - I know how much the making was also a gift to me.

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  9. Mmm, very provocative writing. Such a lovely quilt and story.


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx