Babies grow so fast and Ysa has outgrown the pretty little quilts that Merin made with such love and anticipation - which gave me the opportunity to make her a new one. When Eden suggested the project I knew immediately which of the fabrics I would choose from the stash in the sewing room closet. Merin had wanted to make a larger throw-quilt and we had chosen fabric for it but never got around to making it. The fabric was just sitting there wanting to be used and this was the perfect thing.
I gathered those fabrics plus a few more that had significance*, got a bit inspired with a design, and had the most wonderful time creating a quilt that I must admit I am very pleased with. In fact, I think it is one of the very best things I have ever made. I love it! (laugh at me!)
The design and process are both very simple. I used a linen/cotton blend for the background fabric and hand appliqued the fabric circles onto that. To make the fabric circles nice and round I sewed featherweight iron-on interfacing together with the fabric, right side of the fabric and iron-on side of the interfacing in. I sewed around the entire circle, then cut a slit in the interfacing and turned the circle right-side out. Simple finger pressing of the edges made the line nice and clean, and then it was time to experiment with placement.
When I was satisfied I pinned the circles in place and ironed them down. Sadly, as great as the iron-on concept is it is not good enough to stand multiple washings and constant wear (which I really hope this quilt gets) so I hand-stitched each circle in place. Next step was to layer the backing fabric (Merin's first choice of fabrics for her quilt and her favorite of them all - a lovely soft, satiny rayon/cotton blend), the cotton quilt batting, and the top. I hand basted those together and finally got to the quilting - around each circle as well as a few "shadow" circles in the negative spaces. A simple binding with the same fabric as the backing and the quilt was complete. Simple....but I must admit it took me a while.
Making this quilt was a real labor of love. I can't decide exactly who I am expressing love for - Ysa, Eden, Merin... so perhaps it is a hand-stitched statement of my love for all three. Certainly I feel like it is a bridge of sorts. Lots of unfocused thoughts here that I am not sure I really want to articulate but they are good, positive, pleasant thoughts that look back as well as to the future. Most likely this quilt will not mean nearly as much to anyone as it does to me but that is just fine. I have gotten my money's worth and I am happy.
Happy snuggling Ysa and Eden.
*There are bits of fabric from Japan, scraps from Merin's old pajamas, a piece that was leftover from an apron making project that Merin did one Christmas, a piece from a skirt that I made Aubrie last summer, bits from the baby quilts Merin made, and you might recognize the voile I used to make the up-cycled baby romper for Ysa. Lots of pretty color, texture, and memories.