Thursday, November 03, 2016

A Quilt for Miss P

There should have been a drumroll, or several; also a parade with marching musicians; lots of balloons released into the heavens; maybe an air raid siren or two to alert the natives; possibly a leading story in the local newspaper; or, at the very least, a letter of congratulations from the president of the National Quilting Association. 

Inexplicably, there was none of that when I finally finished Miss P's quilt this summer.

 But look what I got instead.  Far more satisfying than all of the above... That smile! 

It all started with this, back in February 2013.

After the initial oohing and ahhing and wishing she weren't on the other side of the planet, my next instinct was to make a quilt. Each grandchild has to have at least one me-made quilt.
 I decided to make her a 
Little Red Hen quilt.
 I knew that, as she grew, she'd be spending time with her UK grandparents who are lucky enough to live closer to her than we do, and therefore with the chickens and guinea fowl, lambs, geese and pigs that live with them.

The fact that there's a well worn copy of The Little Red Hen among the books from our own childrens' childhoods' was a factor. And it certainly helped that "In The Nursery" by Jennifer Sampou and Carolyn Schmitz had a helpful pattern. I had used another pattern from this book for a quilt for Miss P's big brother,

which, I am ashamed to say, was also eons in the making.

I cringed at the instructions which said to fuse the applique shapes for the Little Red Hen and her friends onto the background fabric. Choke, gasp, splutter! Depending on your point of view, I am either a purist, a masochist, or seriously deranged. I'm arguing for purist. I like handwork. Glue would be fine for a paper collage, but for fabric --- never!

The Little Red Hen finds a seed and asks her farmyard friends to help her plant it.

They decline so she plants it all by herself. Here she is, well most of her, digging the hole....after I had first back basted her parts in place (my absolutely favorite applique technique.)

After the seed is planted it has to be watered and the ground around it hoed. Otherwise it will die (as I know  from personal experience.) But when the Little Red Hen asks her friends again to help with these chores they are, once again, too busy, and our hard working feathered friend has to do it all by herself.

Meanwhile the lazy little pig was taking shape, and plans for the cute, but unhelpful, kitten were coming along.

The seed grows into wheat and the Little Red Hen again asks for help harvesting it, but the other critters are  too busy, so she does it all by herself.

Then, all by herself, she grinds it into flour.

Ever the optimist, she asks her friends if they would like to help her bake some bread.
 But no.
They are still too busy.

So she bakes the bread all by herself..

 When the heavenly aroma of bread baking wafts through the farmyard all the friends rush to the Little Red Hen's side to help her eat it. But, the Little Red Hen has managed thus far without any help from her friends and decides that she will eat the bread all by herself, thanks for offering though.

While the Little Red Hen's wheat was growing, so was Miss P. When she was six months old we went to visit.

Her first b'day came and went. Her second birthday came and went.

She had a third birthday, and shortly after that

she came to visit us.

Was the quilt ready and waiting for her? Alas. Again. No.

 The Little Red Hen and her friends were still scratching about in my sewing room, unfinished.

But , as you can see, Miss P was a lot less bothered by the whole business than I was.

The creatures were all assembled, the center panel was finished, so what was my problem?.

It is possible that my brain is disfunctional, considering all the chances I had to get it right .......

When they left, I got to work and, finally, finished the quilt top.

But I wasn't out of the woods yet. Now more opportunities for procrastination presented themselves.
 Should I hand quilt it?
And risk taking another three years to finish?
Threw out that daft idea.
Piecing and applique are my comfort zone. The actual quilting fills me with terror so, I did the sensible thing, and took the quilt to a friend of a friend and paid her to machine quilt it.

It was a long road but it's finally done. I had such fun making it I think I just wanted the process to go on and on and on...
I am always more about the journey than the destination.

And, best of all, reports are that Miss P loves all her quilted farmyard friends.


Ali Honey said...

Delightful. Gosh you did take your time.... BUT you got there Hurrah!!!
Love the walking back views. What are you going to make her next? A dolly perhaps?

Elephant's Child said...

It is a beautiful thing. Well worth the time.
Of course she loves it. Who wouldn't?
As an aside, I am told that my first sentence was 'do it self'.

Thimbleanna said...

Ohmygosh Molly. That ending. And that picture of you and Miss P. Big. Giant. Tears.

I. LOVE. IT!!! Major Fanfare!!! I would have big Disneyland Fireworks appear over your house if I could! It's an adorable quilt and I'll bet she just loves it!!!

On another note -- who are those children??? Surely they can't be your UK-living babies that were just born ... what was it ... last year??? Yes, it seems like just last year! Wow -- where on earth does time go???

Well Done Miss Molly. Very Very Well Done!!! (Oh! And Miss P and her descendants thank you for not using fusible -- and I do too LOL!!!)

persiflage said...

Well done. it is gorgeous. What talent and (long term) dedication. I do so admire people who can combine such creativity with the ability to sew straight.
(I crochet instead.)

Susan Kane said...

Well done. I would have gone the fusible path, and then blanket stitch. But then that is me. The quilt is beautiful and Miss P will wear it out over the next decades.

molly said...

Ali --- Not sure about a doll. In spite of her tiaras and tutus Miss P is quite a tomboy.

EC --- "Do it 'self," --- words to live by!

Anna-Banana --- Yes, they are indeed those babies who were just born yesterday. Watch out because,if you blink, that sweet grandbaby of yours will be running faster than you can keep pace with...

Persi --- Nice to see you here again! Creativity takes all sorts of shapes like speaking Italian, and crocheting, and yes, for me, quilting.

SK --- If it works for you that's all that matters. If I'd gone the route of fusible Miss P would have had her quilt much sooner, but I would not have had so much fun in the making....

Sabine said...

What a beautiful gift you made I wish I had the patience to quilt. It's such a lovely craft.

molly said...

Thank you Sabine. It's cheaper than therapy!

Relatively Retiring said...

Such a beautiful child and such a beautiful quilt - well done, all concerned, but especially Granny.

molly said...

RR --- Thank you. It's lovely to hear from you again! Somehow I haven't been getting email notices when you do a new post on blogger.....I see I have some catching up to do. As for grandchildren, you have a few beauties yourself!

Secret Agent Woman said...

What a wonderful gift! It's gorgeous and I'm sure it will be treasured. And I am with you - I'm a purist on these things, too.

Pam said...

Well, that is absolutely lovely.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It's beautiful ! Lucky little Miss P .

Anonymous said...

Quelle belle aventure ...Et bel ouvrage !! Votre petite fille est bien mignonne.
Je suis admirative, c'est un gros travail . J'ai aimé l'histoire de la petite poule qui doit se débrouiller toute seule .
Je n'ai pas de talent de couturière...mais j'aime beaucoup cuisiner ce qui n'est pas bien difficile , n'est-ce pas?
Bien amicalement . Jo d'Avignon

molly said...

Taking a bow here....I am very happy with how it turned out. Thank you all for the pats on the back!

SAG --- And yes, some things are best done the old fashioned way even if it takes a little longer.

Pam --- Working on it certainly gave me a lot of satisfaction - three years worth!

S&S --- I breathed a long sigh when I put in the last stitch....And then my London niece had a long-awaited, and longed for, baby girl. So guess what I'm working on now?

Jo d'Avignon --- Bienvenue et merci! Moi aussi, j'aime bien cuisiner. C'est plus facile maintenant que les enfants sont adultes. Depuis l'ecole le francais est ma langue favourite.

Gemma's person said...

That is the prettiest quilt I have seen. Love the story and good child friendly .
Very nicely done. I really like it.