My niece Laurel just phoned to say the I Spy quilt arrived and was a big hit! I'm so pleased. Here's a photo of her daughter Julia enjoying the quilt. Apparently Julia was so excited when the quilt arrived that she would hardly let it go so her mother could look at it! I have hexagons cut for 3 more I Spy quilts for my other nieces' and nephew's children. I must be crazy, but when I heard how excited Julia was to receive the quilt, it makes the time and effort more than worthwhile.With this I Spy quilt, part of my quilting journey has come full circle. I made my first quilt when I was a college freshman for the child my brother and his wife were expecting the following autumn. I didn't know how to make a quilt -- I just cut squares and stitched, some by hand, some by machine, using fabric we had on hand (I don't know why we had it). When I finished piecing it, I knew it needed backing -- I didn't know about batting in those days. So I purchased some flannel and borrowed a machine to stitch it envelope-style to the back. I didn't quilt it -- didn't know it needed it! I proudly gave it to my new niece Laurel. Alas, it fell apart the first time it was washed. Everything shrunk unevenly and the stitches pulled out. I was devastated, and gave up quilting.
Fast forward more than 30 years, to 2005. My husband and I spent 6 months in California on his sabbatical, just a few minutes from where Laurel lives now. I had decided the time was right to try quilting again. Coincidentally, Laurel had taken up quilting, but as a working mother of a newborn, she had no spare time to sew, so she lent me her machine. I took a class at a local quilt shop and haven't stopped quilting since! It feels right that I should make a quilt for Laurel's children -- hopefully, this one will hold together!
And finally, I am beyond excited about leaving tomorrow for vacation -- it promises to be an amazing trip (Amsterdam followed by bits of the Italian coast and Greek islands)! I will be back looking at blogs around July 17, and I hope you come back to visit me then, too. I'll have lots to post! Hope everyone is enjoying the summer (or winter, for you Australians). See you in a couple weeks!