My friend requested a doll quilt for her granddaughter because she has such fond memories of playing with the doll quilt her Gran had given to her. But before I got to it, the granddaughter got a little brother. So, I made a quick doll quilt and an equally quick Carry-Along quilt. They are about 23″ square, just right for a little one to handle.
In thinking about quilt patterns to make for the reopening of Isabella’s Whimsy on Etsy my memory kept returning to the mid-1990s when I had made an amazing quilt design. I was so proud of it – my first original design. I couldn’t quite recall the exact pattern, but I was fully confident that if I could only see one of my quilts made with the pattern I could analyze it and write it up as a pattern. I kept this idea simmering in the back of my head when what do you know, I stumbled across a quilt from that long-ago time that I had not finished (not too surprising). My hands nearly trembled in anticipation as I unfolded that gem-of-potential only to drop in confusion when I saw the pattern was a simple tweak of a typical patchwork, not the amazing quilt design I remembered.
But I did not give up. I talked to my understanding big sister who said she still has the throw I made for her husband and that she would take a picture and send it by email. Ah, the gladness in my heart! Now I could write up the amazing quilt design and use it to make new quilts and to make a pattern to offer people, either in Isabella’s Whimsy on Etsy or as a freebie! Then the picture arrived. I was confused. dismayed. baffled. How could my memory be so wrong? so very wrong? This was indeed the design, but with only two colors, not the three colors I vividly remembered, so it really wasn’t all that amazing. ooohh.As a last attempt I contacted my friend to ask for a picture of the baby I blanket I had made for her daughter who is now in college. She was able to send a couple of pics, and again I was confused and even mildly shocked. This was not my amazing design either! She said she hoped I wasn’t disappointed, but I was and a little worried about my brain.
But then just as the phoenix rose from the ashes full of life and strength, I rose from my despair, determined and motivated to re-create what I had apparently never created in the first place, my amazing quilt design!
So I set to work and used a sweet butterfly fabric with purples and other lovely little girl colors, some pink and purple, some old-fashioned delicate white print, and for a pop some lime green with white dots. I measured and cut and sewed up a storm. Of course in my “original” (mental) design I had only used three fabrics, but if three is good, four must be better. So I improvised my way to a finished quilt top. I started to write out the pattern and got to the part where I change things up…kind of tricky to explain improvisation. So after more measuring and scribbling, I decided this is not going to be my amazing first original design, this is going to be a cute and happy quilt that I put in the shop, but that’s all. This time. For now, here is a sneak peak.
Would you like to read the folktale about the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes? click here