mums all around us

You know when you read quilting magazines and whenever there is an article about a quilter, invariably the interview will start off with “.. got her love of quilting from her (insert significant loved one here)” It’s like we always want to be able to see where we do inherit our traits and characteristics from, whether it be our hobbies and past-times, or the foods we eat or our mannerisms that grow on us with age. I know there are some things I do or say that make me think “I sound just like my own mother” which I hoped I would nver do! On this lovely Mother’s Day, with love shown to me by my family, my thoughts turn to my own mother.
My mum didn’t quilt but she did do other handicrafts, and also loved gardening and especially bonsaii plants. In her later years she turned to making teddy bears, which I remembered happened after she accompanied me to a quilt show one year and saw the stalls selling teddy bear fur and patterns. So she set to and made teddy bears, making a bear for each of her 6 grandchildren.
teddyshelf(not all of these were made by Granny)
This bear below was made with long wild-looking fur, so we nick-named it Yeti!
teddy3
And this one was given some glasses and a little leather cap made for her by Grandpa to resemble one of his own.
teddy2
So, even though she didn’t make quilts herself I made a couple for her. I made this quilt below for Mum and gave it to her a year after Grandpa passed away.
bonsaii5
I incorporated lots of features that she had admired in other quilts I made- she was enamoured with the ‘stack-and-wack’ quilts so I added in a border of s&w blocks.
bonsaii4
I couldn’t find any bonsaii-themed fabric, so instead made the centre medallion myself. I made the tree and the pot by normal applique methods but did the leaves by doing some confetti piecing: lots and lots of little green scraps sandwiched in between some wash-away Solvy with free-hand stitching all over to anchor them down.
bonsaii1
This was also made in the days before I had my long-arm machine, so the quilting was done on my domestic sewing machine.
bonsaii3
I traced the feathered wreath patterns in the s&w border on to some plastic and then sewed through it, easily peeling off the plastic after. With the purple triangles surrounding the bonsaii block, I clearly remember putting the needle down to start with no idea what design to use. I literally pulled the thread up, looked at it again, still didn’t know what to do, then just started sewing lines. I’m quite happy with them now!
This next quilt wasn’t made until after Mum passed away with cancer, 2 years after that.
nzheart2
She had gone to New Zealand with her sister and brother-in-law on a trip that she had always dreamed of doing, and I had asked her to bring me back a little ‘New Zealand-type’ fabric, meaning just a fat quarter or two. Instead she brought me back a whole pile of fabrics!, so I had to think of something fitting to use them on. I looked through lots of magazines and picked a couple of patterns to show to her when she was in the hospice. She picked this one with the blocks resembling hearts, and I promised to make that quilt for her.
nzheart3
Even though she never saw the finished quilt, I still think of her whenever I look at it.
nzheart1
Quilts are like that; they are warm and cuddly and give you a sense of well-being. Happy Mothers Day to everyone!