I have loved quilts since I was a little girl. We had a huge one growing up, that we would lay out when we had picnics, or when we built forts in the house on rainy days. My great-grandmother had made the quilt top and gave it to my grandmother, and my grandmother had it backed, quilted, and bound for my mom. So not only was it a warm, comforting blanket, but it was truly a functional part of our family history.
My appreciation for the true art of quilt making increased even more in college, where at the University of Nebraska, we had access to one of the largest collections of American quilts in the United States. The time and attention to detail that goes into each piece is truly remarkable, and I always wondered if I would have the time and patience to create a piece like the ones I admired.
I have made several small appliqued quilts, but had only continued to admire the large, pieced beauties that I remembered from the collection at school. But when my sister in law was looking for a pinwheel quilt for my niece's new big-girl bedroom, I thought that it might be a good time, and a good reason, to put my skills to the test and see if I really had what it took to make a full size quilt. So, I told her that I would make a quilt for Raleigh for her second birthday to match her room that she could keep at the foot of her bed. We worked out the design and the colors, and here is the quilt that came to be.
It is by no means (at all) perfect, but I do have to say that I am pretty proud of my pinwheel quilt. It's a very simple pattern, 60-9" square quilt blocks, backed in pink gingham and pink binding. It took me about 16 hours from start to finish, and the best thing I learned from the whole process? I love quilting.
I documented the process on Instagram, and I really appreciate all the sweet comments and wonderful feedback that I got each step of the way! It was very encouraging, and makes me so happy to know that quilting is not a dying art, and there are so many people that still appreciate the time and work and LOVE that goes into making a quilt, and especially when you are making a quilt for someone special. I plan to continue quilting, working on improving my skills, and have several projects in mind already. I will probably not be listing any quilts in my etsy shop, but will take custom orders if there is a demand (I already have a few lined up!).
I don't expect Raleigh to think of her (wonderful, kind, talented, beautiful :)) Aunt Amanda everytime she snuggles up with her quilt, or spreads it out for a tea party, or reads a book underneath it on a stormy afternoon, but I do hope she remembers that it was made with love, especially for her, and it's something she can keep forever and pass on to her own little girl. A functional part of her own family history.
Happy Birthday (a month late...hey, it took a while), Raleigh! :)