Thursday, 14 January 2010

Square No 3

Well, another day another post..........I am on a role! And here we are square number 3, this is Milly's square, my youngest daughter, we looked at many websites at fabrics and she found one called Amelia, her given name. It is the one with flowers and birds on, bottom right of the square. This fabric could have been designed with Amelia in mind. She is a sunny child, full of energy and determination. She is named after my other Grandmother Amelia, or Mela Kaciniel. The moment Milly was born I knew that was the name for her, she lay in my arms in the delivery room with big big eyes looking all around her as if to say, ah yes here I am. My Grandmother Amelia I called Babcia as she was Polish. She died when I was eight, her English was limited and a great sadness for me is that I didn't get to know her. Her life was incredible, her family were all deported from Poland to Siberia in February 1940. She had four young children, they could take what they could carry, Djadek (my Grandfather) and Babcia made a home in a Siberian camp, she nursed and he worked in the salt mines so they could get food, but mostly they starved. One tale is of Babcia making soup out of herbs she thought she knew, but they had a sedative effect on the children who slept for a day after eating it. From Siberia, they trekked to India, Iran, and across to South Africa, most of this on her own with the three youngest children, my grandfather and father joined the Free Polish Army. There are so many tales to tell, but I shall leave them for another time.
So, this square is from Amelia to Jess, she helped with some of the stitching and the embroidery of her name. She has missed her big sister a great deal, despite the 7 year age gap they are very close. I am so thankful for Skype so they can talk when they like, and Milly took great delight in having her home for Christmas. I always wanted a sister, as I think the intimacy of that relationship can never be replicated as there are so many shared memories and experiences that only siblings can have. I hope they are always close, and make sure they find time for one another as there lives grow away from this home.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Well, it has been quite a time since I started this blog..I have been a little more productive with the quilt. Although my aim, to have it finished for my daughter Jess to take with her when she started University, didn't happen. I then thought it would be ready when we visited her for her birthday in November, um no..... then for alas here we are, January, BUT I only have two squares left to hopefully a lovely Easter gift ......

So, about this square....the yellow gingham is from a cushion cover made by my grandmother Eva , a fine seamstress. She was my maternal grandmother and lived in the same town as my family. She was a year older than the year...I always loved the fact that she was born in 1899, it seemed so romantic, her birthplace was Holloway in London, my Grandad took great delight in telling everyone that he saved her from the gates of the jail.... Her full name was Eva Adelaide Maud...something she hated, named after maiden aunts, as was the way then. She had a hard life, but was a real lady. As with many women of her generation her education finished too soon, but her whole life she read and read, listened to Radio 4 and took a newspaper every day.

I spent many hours with her, we talked and talked, she taught me to sew, and to sing funny old Edwardian music hall songs, like 'Joshua, Joshua sweeter than lemon squash you are.....' She was tiny a little over 5 feet and used to love to tell me when she was a young girl her hair was so long she could sit on it! Her eldest daughter had been a GI bride, my Gran and Grandad visited twice, the second time, in 1968, they decided that my cousin and I should go with them, as I was only three my mum said no! Sadly on that trip my Grandad died suddenly, so it was probably for the best...but the formidable little lady Eva came home with his ashes in her luggage on the Queen Elizabeth, as she was determined not to leave him in America! Well, that is a little about Eva....on the yellow gingham patch there is a row of perfectly formed running stitches sewn by her...saved forever in my daughters quilt..although you cannot see it I have embroidered her name on the patch....a little bit of her to be kept darling Grandmother Eva!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

To begin at the beginning....

Well here I am starting a blog... I have been inspired by reading a few others and thought it might be a nice thing to share the story of my quilt.
During the summer I spent time with a friend who is a quilter. Wherever we went she had a little plastic wallet with fabric in, I loved to take out the pieces she had cut and lay them out, studying, and thinking...
Well I have over the years turned my had to many different crafts....decoupage...beading....knitting (20 scarves...not very inspiring!!) but most need equipment and a table so are not portable. It got me thinking...I am not precise so regular quilting was out....I have mounds of fabric bits.... and embroidery thread.....and then one day I sat drinking tea (something we do a lot in our house) having a conversation with my daughter who was applying to university. We talked about how much she would miss home, the snuggling up under the blanket on the sofa together to watch a film..... ding! The quilt idea was born..
It won't be perfect, it probably, because of the collection of fabric I am starting with, won't match too well, but it will most certainly be a quilt of love... For my daughter to wrap around herself when she is far away from home.
So here is the first square, made from a bundle of fabric squares I bought many years ago...why? Who know....just liked the colours! And some pieces from Jess's godmother Kenice... the colours are hers seen all around her house.