Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Quilts and Sunshine


It's incredible, don't you think, that when the sun shines on a barren field, and grey sky, it makes the most beautiful backdrop? In a way this quilt is like that, born out of the most tragic of circumstances, in the hope of shining some light on a grey day.

This is quilt #2 of the Flowers for Eleni. When I worked out that I would have too many for even a king size quilt and back, I made the decision to set a collection aside to make a single bed quilt. There was one particular flower stitched to a particularly pretty square that captured my imagination, and I built this little collection around the colours in that one block. I set one flower in the middle and started ring after ring of diamonds, at first in a rainbow, but I wasn't happy with how they all morphed into each other. I swapped the colours around to make them shine more.


For the back I used some leftover flowers, a print from the first quilt and some fun stripes I'd had in my stash for a while. I topped and tailed the flowers with some Kona (coral, maybe?) and it brought the whole thing together beautifully. I quilted it mostly in straight lines, with the occasional free motion line of flowers or loops or Eucalyptus Leaves (I had to include an Australian motif!) My favourite moment was laying Anna Maria Horner's Crescent Bloom in Fuchsia on the quilted layers, ready for binding, and have all those flowers sing out in agreement.


I have to thank my lovely friend Becky who travelled several hours with a nine month and a two year old to come and help me sew it all together. I'm also very thankful to Gina (@happygolizzy) from my do.Good Stitches bee who sewed around 50 flowers to squares for me and made my February blocks. This endeavour, as you know, became so, so much bigger than I ever anticipated. And I was completely blown away by all of you who generously offered help it all come together. It's been the most incredible experience, one that I still wish never had to happen. We quilters have this unique gift of making something that is at once an expression of beauty and hope, and also a practical, comforting hug. I've been especially glad for that. Add to that social media and a hashtag, and a huge collection of women stitching with prayers and tears... I hope it feels a lot like sunshine on the things that seem bleak, making them shine with warmth and beauty.

These flowers are now in their new home with the Hausers. Rachel wrote this beautiful, heartbreaking post after receiving them. And I have had this old human in my head ever since:

Oh, joy, that seekest me through the pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not in vain
That morn shall tearless be.

Thank you, thank you dear friends for rallying with me to make these quilts. It's so much more than I could have done on my own.

Jodi. xx


10 comments:

  1. Everything about this is beautiful..the story, the pictures and the quilt.

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  2. You did such a fabulous job on the quilts and co-ordinating this project. Big round of applause to you.

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  3. Beautiful Jodi, thank you so much for allowing us all to contribute to Rachel's quilts for Eleni. You have created something far more wonderful than quilts. Gorgeous pics too, love them. Cat x

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  4. Jodi , thanks for sharing these lovely pictures, and your own journey in making up the quilts -with your friends. Its been a challenge for us all I think and for Rachel still very much a work in progress. Whatever the reason, the quilts are and will always be works of beauty and your skill in pulling this together fantastic.
    Now take time to stand back and smell the roses..maybe do a wee thing for yourself?? Or just sit and relax.
    XX
    Freda P Uk

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  5. It is a beautiful quilt and a beautiful thing to have done. Well done (not quite the right word, hope you know what I mean) to everyone involved for such wonderful work and to you for organising and sewing!! xx

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  6. This is so beautiful Jodi as are the words you have written. The words of that hymn say it all

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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