I think I have mentioned in earlier posts that we draw names for Christmas present exchange on my husband’s side of the family. He has 4 siblings, and they all have significant others, and it just makes life much easier.
This year I had my sister-in-law Debbie’s name. She is married to Jim’s brother Lou. In fact, our son Kenny was just 5 weeks old when they got married. I remember this because Jim and I took Kenny with us to their wedding in Napa, and he slept through the nuptials and reception, and ultimately was up the entire night there after. Ugh- I use to really dread those kind of nights. Now I would give my left arm to have just one of those precious nights back!
So that was about 20 years ago! Anyhow- my deal for the name drawing for Christmas has been, (at least for the last 3 years) to make a quilt for that person. Part of the fun of this is to really think about what this person means to me, and how this quilt should reflect their personality.
Debbie and I live less than a mile away from each other, but we don’t spend a ton of time together. Not because we don’t want to, but because we both have kids in different schools, our interests pull us in different directions and well, I just don’t do a lot with anybody. I guess this is mostly my fault, I like to be home.
Her personality is interesting, you could say she is opposite of me, but I think that would be wrong. The places I lack confidence and experience- she does not. She has been in the corporate world, helped build huge businesses, been a boss several times to many people, unafraid of an unfamiliar experiences and has traveled to many foreign places. Me? Not so much, unless you want to count- being a night-time manager for Crate and Barrel and traveling to Canada and Mexico as “The Corporate World” and “Foreign Travel” -but hey, it’s all Greek to me! Nope! – I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t want that either, I’m a homebody- remember? You would think the earlier mentioned attributes of Debbie would make her a “stuffed shirt”, but she doesn’t fit that mold either!
She is wicked smart, athletic, likes to run (ugh, I hate it, the only thing I love about running is when I am able to stop!) She appreciates her children… I do that too- and she seems, to someone looking in from the outside, that maybe she is very stoic and tough- and she IS a strong woman, but she is also a very sensitive and gentle woman-touched by small things that others do, those little things mean a lot and those small moments when she sits back and takes it all in she is full of emotion… happiness and gratefulness for the healthy family she has- and for the close relationships she has with us… I know this about Debbie… I do!
Maybe, in these years going forward I will be fortunate enough to be able to spend more time with Debbie… Maybe. Next fall her oldest will be off to college, and I know she is going to need support with that. It is a very tough, life changing situation to get used to. Most of it not fun!!!
So- for Debbie’s quilt I chose Anna Maria Horner fabrics. In fact- I purchased a kit. I don’t usually do kits- but I wanted to make it easy on myself since I didn’t start this quilt until December 6th!
I downloaded the pattern from Make It Coats.
I first made templates out of some bookboard. There were 2 different sized triangles. So I thought using the bookboard was going to be the best option.
It worked out wonderfully. I just pasted the paper templates to the bookboard. It was awesome. My rotary cutter didn’t slip once!
Each row was sewn together in the photo above, but all the rows were not yet sewn together.
Once I had the rows all sewn together, I realized it was smaller than I thought it would be. So I had some of Anna’s Innocent Crush hanging around my sewing room and I sewed a generous border around the entire quilt.
This photo was taken on Christmas day before I packed it away into a box for its new home. I hate giving up my quilts!
When Debbie found out I had her name. Her response was so touching. She knew, as everyone does, that if I have your name, you are going to get a quilt… She started to cry because, she said she couldn’t believe that someone would want to make something so nice for her, or spend so much time doing something so nice for her!!! She hadn’t even pulled the quilt out of the box yet!
When she saw it she melted. She wrote such a lovely thank you note to me also. She is pretty convinced that her new quilt has improved her sleeping… Her husband snores like mine does- I wonder if she uses her quilt to put over his face to muffle the sound- that would improve your sleep, right?!
You’re worth it Debbie. I enjoyed every minute, It’s conception all the way through to its completion. I love thinking about that particular person, while I am working and customizing their gift to their personality. It is so much fun. Building a quilt is a journey. It is so much more than “just a quilt”!
IT’S A JOURNEY!!!