On Evelina’s first birthday, I proudly presented her with the quilt that I had lovingly made for over a year (so started when she was not even yet born). I had chosen gorgeous Tilda fabrics and roughly followed a pattern. My inexperience did not matter because the end result was lovely and special. When I had Austin, I wanted to do the same for him. And I did. It just took a little longer.
On Austin’s fifth birthday, I was able to present him with a quilt that had taken me a month to make but over five years to feel guilty about. The fabric was the second batch that I had bought – the first attempt was abandoned and I hope one day to fix it into a quilt that I actually like. Having decided I MUST finish his quilt by this latest milestone – and with lockdown providing no excuse for lack of time – something rather lovely occurred to me: by waiting until this very moment, Evelina was old enough to be able to help. She helped me figure out the design and layout of the squares; she helped me sew the squares together; she was someone to mull things over with and keep me motivated. It was wonderful.
The quilt was not a surprise to Austin – he saw me making it and it was not feasible to keep it a surprise but in a way, that just made it more special. He knew I was making it for him and he knew how many hours I spent on it. Now he has his own quilt for keeping him warm on those extra cold nights and for building forts. In the summer, he can heave it outside and put it on the grass. I hope he enjoys it for many years to come.
One last thing needs doing: the signature label. I will make sure it shows my name AND Evelina’s name along with the place and date of creation.
When I had finished making this – on time and in the nick of time – I was elated. I felt positively euphoric. I am often so hard on myself and this time, I had followed through and finished something. I felt so proud of myself. It was a foreign emotion.
I am so grateful to Karen at The Quilter’s Den in Warwick for all her help finding a backing fabric that worked. The stars backing fabric came from a new collection from Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar – it works so well. The top fabric came from two lots of a layer cake called Scrumptious Squares by Lewis and Irene.
In case you are interested, I just mined my photos from 2011 to find Evelina’s quilt. It is still on her bed all these years later.