Thursday, August 15, 2019

Family family family. And a quilt.

Life has been a bit of a whirl recently, though in a good way. We had my brother and sister-in-law to stay for a few days and I rushed to finish the quilt I've been making (since January) for my nephew and his young lady, who're currently visiting. Above, Mr Life holds it up and below, he recovers from holding his arms out while I ask him to stretch out just slightly further.

I enjoyed making it. The fiddliest bits were the stars, and though much of the rest was just squares, there were a lot of them and thus a lot of corners to get right. Ish. The most fun was the strippy border, which I've never done before, though seen in other people's quilts. This went together really quickly - no corners to match!! yah!! - and made me feel smug because I used up lots of bits from my scrap box. Of course, I could have just cut up some of my stash, which would have scarcely dented said stash, but it was satisfying to use little remaining pieces of some of my favourite fabrics - at least one of which came from Thimbleanna, years ago now. I'll definitely do strippy borders again. They were very soothing to do and look pretty (I think) and much more impressive than they really are.

In similar pseudo-thrifty vein, I decided to use strips from two of Mr L's discarded shirts for the binding. This was not a good idea, as I realised quite soon after starting. The shirts were quite similar colours - too similar, really, since they tend to look rather like a mistake rather than a contrast. Also, one of them was horribly apt to fray. But mainly, because there were lots of joins, this meant it was much more footery to do, since I had to avoid getting any of these joins at the corners, which are bulky enough without anything extra.

But it was fun anyway, and I like the colours, though I discovered that the yellow of the stars looks much more intense against the dark fabrics than the light ones. Of course I've read about colour values in quilting books but it was interesting to find that the experts were right... .

I wonder how long it'll take them to notice the homage to their cat in the quilting. 

On the last day of the school holidays, Son-in-Law 1 and I took the children to Jupiter Artland. We had a lovely time. Here, Grandson the Elder communes with one of the Weeping Girls.

Biggest Granddaughter climbs a ladder in the ladder orchard.

I admire them and some flowers.

And they play on the Landforms.

We had rather a long wait for lunch, during which Grandson did a technical bus drawing on a napkin. 

We were contacted recently by some distant cousins from America who were visiting Edinburgh and they came down for lunch the other day. When I say distant - the great-great-great-great-grandmother of the young lady visiting was the sister of my great-great-great-grandmother. So I doubt if we share too many genes.

I dug out this photo of this girl's - let's think now - great-great-great aunt Tina, on the extreme left, who was a cousin of my granny's mother (or something. I may have got the greats a bit wrong).

Anyway, here we all are in my grandparents' house in 1954. Next from the left is my lovely young Mum, in front of her my lovely smiling Granny, two visiting Americans in the blue cardigan and the grey jacket, my Grandpa standing on the right at the back and my Dad at the front with me and my brother. I remember the occasion. I was four. It was the first ever colour photo we'd seen - so advanced, those Americans. (We can't work out who actually took the photo, since we all seem to be in it.)

My brother and I are the only ones left alive, but I still have the blue and white vase on the mantelpiece.

Anyway, it was lovely, if a bit surprising, to meet up with these family members from Ohio.


  1. How wonderful! only six degrees of separation for the whole world and all that....

  2. Ooops published too soon - I meant to say how lovely your quilt was! I agree with you on stripey borders, I think they always look much smarter than the effort required :) and the cat is FABULOUS

  3. stunning work!
    good to meet family, however distant. It can be surprising where family traits can pop up

  4. WooHoo! Look at you go with your quilting -- it's beautiful Pam! It's amazing to me how far you've come in such a short amount of time -- and you're hand-quilting all your quilts too! I'll bet your nephew and his girl loved it! I think I spotted the fabric I gave you -- the one in the border with the text maybe? At least I have that fabric LOL. And I spotted a super cute little sheepie print on green background in there too. Aren't scrappy quilts fun -- looking at all those fabrics? Well Done!!! (Oooh, and I LOVE the cat -- it's so fun to sneak those little bits into quilting!)

    And that picture -- what an adorable little girl! You haven't changed much -- you still have those pretty rosy cheeks and that beautiful smile. And I'll bet you woke up humming and singing back then, just like now!

  5. Your quilt shows a great sense of design as well as fine skills! I think you have more confidence than you did in the beginning, as well....I do a great deal of family genealogy as did my husband. It's very satisfying.

  6. I think your quilt is perfect! (although I know that we always see the imperfections in our own work) That photo is amazing. I love old family pictures and all the memories that go along with them.

  7. The photographer was a man who accompanied the two American ladies: I presume the husband of the older one. The camera was huge - like the press cameras you see in old films. And the flashbulbs were the size of lightbulbs. He could only take one picture every 5 minutes or so as he had to wait for the bulb to cool down. All very interesting for the 6-year-old me in the picture.