Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Tale (not tail) of Annie's Quilt

Annie's Quilt - a special quilt, made up from orphan blocks from various projects collected over the years. Its name came from orphan block quilt - Little Orphan Annie blocks quilt - Annie's quilt. The name was special too because of our gorgeous dog Annie who died last year. We loved her very much. ( go here to read about her last days) 

My grandma was also Annie but the dog was NOT named after her. 
    Annie Hayward

These are some photos of my Grandam Annie aged 16, 24 and about 55

Grandma was Annie Mabel (set the table) and Annie was properly Annabelle, named by my youngest son (known on this blog as Boyo). He doesn't know where the name came from (mind you our other dog Daisy WAS named after my other grandmother... cause our neighbour had a dog Bessie and that is my mother's name. I asked what their mothers names were - Vera and Annette... nope they weren't dogs names. So I named her after my grandma... yeah long story and not that funny in the retelling... maybe you had to be there) 

I digress!

I started working on Annie's quilt last year. It was to be a quick project - using up some of these orphan blocks I'd collected. To be a donation quilt - no biggie. But in putting together the blocks I needed to make some fillers - I had some mini pinwheels - I made some more. 

I made some checker boards.


 I had some flying geese but needed more (ended up making enough for borders - yeah so I made 130 or so... just a few more) 

I had so much fun but it was a lot of work and I really loved it. There were so many bits to it - so many stories in the quilts that the blocks came from. So many bits of fabrics from so many other projects as well. I really didn't want to give it away - at least not to someone I didn't know. It was special and I wanted it to go to someone special

And that made me feel guilty. Do people who have fallen on hard times for what ever reason need less than our best? Why did I think that only people I knew and loved deserved a quilt from me?

I think this dilemma apart from having other projects on the go made me push the finished quilt top out of my priority list. I finished the top sometime before we left on our big trip last year (9 weeks driving through Southern parts of Australia) but didn't get a backing done for it. After we got home we were busy with Christmas and visitors and other things and so the top waited. I had a piece of backing big enough for it and so in late January I got the quilt pin basted at patchwork. Then the quilt sat, folded up near my machine waiting for me to get around to quilting it.

Thursday I finally  decided that it was time I got Annie's quilt finished. It had waited long enough. I still wasn't sure who it was for but I knew that the time had come to get it done. I thought I could give it to our former minister Suzy who is now living in a town that was badly affected by Cyclone Marcia last Friday. She would know someone who would appreciate it.

 It wasn't long before I was muttering crankily under my breath. Two lovely ladies from my patchwork group had helped me pin baste it a few weeks ago and my friend Lindi got a bit enthusiastic with how many pins she put in!! We had both laughed about it at the time... but as I had to stop start my quilting so frequently I didn't find it quite as amusing. I muttered "Thanks Lindi" a number of times as I stopped and sewed and stopped again.

I chose to use a gorgeous multicoloured King Tut thread which I've had it for a number of years. Its  colours vary from yellow through orange to pink - just beautiful. I had never come up with a project to use it on but it suited this project perfectly. 

I chose to do a simple stipple design - I love stippling but I'm not perfect at it and unfortunately there is a bit of eye lashing on the back. I love the rhythm of it - sort of dancing with my hands. That's why the pins were aggravating me till I decide to go a bit bigger and dance around them.

I was able to finish the quilting off Friday afternoon after work and on a roll I made the binding - I chose orange - and got it on machining it on front and back. I chose a wavy line decorative stitch for the front. I didn't think that the thread I used for the stippling would be enough to do the decorative stitch on the binding so I chose a variegated orange Aurifil instead (from Tula Pink collection). It worked well but I wish I'd had enough of the other as I loved it. I have a bit left over of the King Tut, not enough to quilt anything but a moderate wall hanging but I will eventually find a project for it.

As I quilted I wondered about who my quilt would go to and then I had a wonderful thought. My friend Liz's house was badly damaged in the cyclone. Liz and I had met through the Emmaus movement. I was the assistant table leader on her table the year she did her walk. This weekend it is the Emmaus training weekend for this year's Central Queensland walk and it (the training weekend) was being held here in our town. We were billeting 5 of the team members in our home including Deb, this year's lay director of the women's walk Deb had been the table leader to my assistant table leading and therefore Liz's table leader. I had a feeling that Liz was on team this year. Would she come to the training weekend with her home having been wrecked only the week before. 

It was fairly late last night when our billets arrived at our place. Over breakfast this morning I checked with Deb. Was Liz on team? Yes! Had she been able to make the training weekend? Yes! Another of our billets Mary (another lady I have known for many years who is the mother of a dear friend from our days in Moranbah) had been her prayer partner that evening and Liz had shared some of her story.

It was confirmed who my quilt was for. The colours in the quilt and bright and cheerful - the colours of the rainbow. The rainbow is the symbol for Emmaus. 

Liz put this status on fb recently

Thank you butterfly for flying up to me as I sit outside my wrecked house and landing on my arm. you showed me that we're fine and life goes on and we're never alone. There is still beauty and wonders to be seen if we stop and look.
As it happens there are a number of butterfly prints throughout the quilt! 

I gave the quilt to Deb to give to Liz at a time that she thinks is suitable. I can trust Deb to find the right time - that God will show her the right time just as he has shown me the right person to give this quilt to. 
Our current only dog Jack decided he should be in this picture too... how could I say no

Des Colores (The Colours)

Update. Deb gave Liz her quilt on Saturday evening and she was thrilled with it. I am so grateful to God that he guided me in the making and the gifting of this quilt.

Linking up with Tgiff and Can I get a Whoop Whoop


  1. Oh my, that is a stunning quilt!

  2. What a wonderful quilt and story. Thank you for sharing pictures and the history behind the name. I'm sure Liz will love it.

  3. Great quilt and great story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. Beautiful quilt! Way to use those orphan blocks!

  5. It is such a beautiful quilt, and a touching story! It brought tears to my eyes. I bet Liz will love her quilt and it will always remind her of there's still good in the world!

  6. I'm in tears again Philipa. Knowing the history of your beautiful gift to me has made it even more of a priceless treasure to me. We heard about 'Wow' moments last night when we can see God in the beauty and people around us. This has definitely been a 'wow' moment for me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you. xoxo Liz