Saturday, January 19, 2013

Quilt Restrospective - Blocks for Hamish

It's been terribly quiet here on the Stitchity front and with not much opportunity for creative stuff, I thought perhaps I could trawl through some old photographs and share another retrospective project. This happy little quilt was whipped up for baby Hamish in the midst of a feverish, baking summer about six years ago (circa January 2007). I remember how very hot the air felt in my sewing space at the top of the house. How terribly mad it was to be stitching away at a top and quilting a quilt through those days of radiant heat and light.
Perhaps my decision to use these bright fabrics, all pulled from my stash and from the voluminous basket of scrappy  prints left over from the quilty projects of years gone by was somehow influenced by this crazy tropical atmosphere. My quilts are rarely planned. I find I mostly prefer to just make things up as I go. There is a certain kind of enjoyment in the experience of letting the creative process unfold, and allowing the materials at hand to have their say.

With no particular starting point in mind, I began the experiment with just one block, a 4" finished star block (the one in the top left hand corner). A border with cornerstones was added, and there was a beginning. Block after block followed. Some just cut and machine pieced, others foundation pieced, like the sailing ship, the fish in the corner and the Australian rosella parrot. I really love the puppy dog, foundation pieced with hand-appliqued eyes and nose, and I couldn't resist throwing in an English pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden block (my one weakness).
Each block was sashed with plain black homespun, followed by a deep border of black and white checked fabric. Then I continued to rummage through scraps of fabric, finding pieces that could be cut into lengths, some longer, some shorter, but enough to strip piece a border of bejeweled squares to finish it off. The elements are simple, the end result pleasing. Not necessarily a work of genius, but an eminently harmonious blending of colour and form, and a gift perfectly suited for a newborn baby's foundational years.

I can't believe that Mr H. has grown up so quickly, that hot summer fortnight of feverish piecing and quilting doesn't seem that long ago. I expect that this quilt will look somewhat worn now. It has probably endured endless days as a playmat, a bright and happy playtime friend on the floor, and a warm and familiar comfort for night-time snuggles on the sofa. It will not last a lifetime, these things rarely do. They become used, soiled, are washed, re-used, scrunched, ruffled and sometimes even chewed! They may be patched from time to time, and eventually become relegated to the back of the cupboard, or may find an even sadder end.

But the memory of fabrics, of the images and colours and shapes will remain. Those things that are very dear to us as small children are generally imprinted on our psyche, deep within the very fibres of our being. There may be times throughout our lives when snippets of happy play days return to us, gentle as the whisperings of the wind, or like waves crashing on the shore. Who knows, what legacy this quilt may leave to a small child. My simple hope is that some pleasant relic of a childhood memory will remain.

Happy birthday Hamish


Evie xxx

1 comment:

If you would like to leave me a comment, (just a line or two will do), then I will get back to you, and that would be like having a bit of a chat (and that's always nice). :)