A little over a year ago, Fiona contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in joining in a patchwork quilt sharing project. The idea was to get 12 people to each send one square, every month to the next person on the list. Would I like to join in? Yes I would! Oh my goodness, I was ridiculously excited to be included and I was so enthusiastic, on most months I had the next square ready to send on before the clock struck midnight on the first day of the next month! I loved the fact that everyone had chosen a different colour scheme and it was fun to look through my fabrics, or use it as an excuse to buy more, to find something that I thought fitted the brief.
On the month that it was my turn to receive my squares I practically stalked my postman, and was super excited whenever a package arrived that looked like it could have a six and a half inch patchwork square inside. Then there was the official taking of a photo to put on instagram before I lovingly looked it over and admired the handiwork.
I received my last square a little while ago and I've been trying to think of how to put it all together. With a week off work for half term holidays, I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and actually get the sewing machine back out. There was slight moment of terror when I could not find all the squares. A half hour of panic, pulling the bookcase apart and generally causing havoc and mayhem everywhere I thought it could be. I'd been carefully storing them all in a jiffy bag on top of some cookery books in the dining room bookcase but one was missing! By sheer fluke, I opened a folder that I use for storing all the recipes I get from the Cookery Club I go to at a local restaurant and there it was, safely still in its envelope.
I decided to do a simple sashing to join them up, and found a remnant of some off white calico which gave a nice soft background to the squares. Everyone had interpreted the colour scheme 'Spring colours' slightly differently and at first I wondered how it would all work with squares ranging from the very pastel, to quite bright, with all hues in between, but when I looked more carefully, I could see that there was continuity there and I hope you'll agree that they do look rather fabulous now they are all sewn together.
I decided to pick out the pale blue as the corner square for the sashing and it does seem to have work well. Months ago when I was at a local store I saw the softest, prettiest cuddlesoft plush fabric and knew that I was going to use it for the backing. The photo doesn't do it justice, so if you are ever in the area and fancy popping in to stroke it to see what I mean, you'll be very welcome!
I felt quite emotional sewing this all together, it seems so strange that people from all over the world have contributed to my quilt. And apologies to Denise for all the Snapchat pictures I've sent her as it has progressed, she'll probably get the sack from work for looking at her phone too often! But I so loved working with these lovely squares; there were some from America, one from Australia, one from Spain and one from Ireland amongst them. People who've been quilting for a while and people who haven't quilted before. A hand sewn one and even (wait for it) one from Alexa who had designed and printed her own fabric! Oh yes! As I worked them into my pattern, it was lovely to think that I was touching fabric that had been worked on by people I have never met in real life (except Denise!)but who have become friends though blogging.
I can't wait to get this finished, although I know that once I sew that last stitch I will sigh with a little feeling of 'oh, that's over now'. But oh the memories of sending and receiving these little squares of fabric, and the friendship that got the ball rolling. The thought that all over the world, a little square of fabric from me will become part of 11 other Friendship Quilts; it's a lovely thing. Thank you SO much Fiona for organising it. I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with for their squares, and I promise to share the final quilt once that last stitch has been made.