The quilt is finished!

To recap: The quilt-top is made out of twelve of Belle’s stripey t-shirts, cut up and pieced together; I used an old blue sheet for the quilt back and one layer of light cotton batting. I tried various methods of hand-quilting the top, but didn’t like the way the stitches interfered with the fabric. So I tied the quilt with opal sock yarn (left over from a pair of socks I made for Mr B) and the ties are fixed so that they show through on the back rather than the front. Finally, I cut 2″ strips from a pair of gingham trousers, sewed them together, and used them to bind the quilt.

I am very pleased with the finished quilt. It was a difficult thing to make, but the process has been a thoughtful and a focused one.

Today we took the quilt out for a picnic in Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens. Everything is flourishing.

We picked a nice spot. . .

ate a picnic. . .

and enjoyed the scenery. . .



Here’s me shaking the crumbs from the quilt when it was time to go

and folding it up

and here’s a final shot of the quilt out on the grass in the sun.

In 2002, just after we moved to Edinburgh, Belle came to stay with us, and we went with her to the Botanic Gardens. It was this time of year, and just this kind of summer weather too. We had a lovely day. Belle loved flowers and plants and had a beautiful garden. It felt right to be taking a quilt made from her things to a place she liked so much, full of the plants that she enjoyed. Here she is in the glasshouse in the Botanic Gardens six years ago.

26 thoughts on “belle’s summer quilt

  1. Well done, memorials are very challenging to make. Your quilt is beautiful and looks real, for want of a better word.

    And thank you for bringing up memories of my dad carrying my cousin and me in the Edinburgh botanics.

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  2. …what a very beautiful quilt and what a lovely way to remember Belle. It is a gorgeous quilt and I love the affirmative and celebratory way that you have made this, taken it out and used it to so affectionately and respectfully remember Belle.

    I am sure she would love all the flower photographs. This really is a beautiful way to remember someone and you’ve done it so sensitively and carefully and with such love.

    What a wonderful tribute; I’m really impressed.

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  3. What lovely memories to cherish each time you use the quilt. And what a beautiful family heirloom. Well done for finishing what most have been an emotional and, at times, difficult labour of love.

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  4. The Lord maketh his face to shine upon her…is what your focus on the project, and the pretty day in the green garden in foggy old wet black edinburgh make me think of.

    xxx

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  5. Wonderful quilt, and a wonderful post to finish off the ‘series’ – I’ve really enjoyed following the process and the thought that’s gone into it. (And I love the crumb-shaking photo!)

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  6. Hello,

    I am sorry – I have just read your post about losing Belle and now realise why you made your quilt. It was crass of me to ramble on about Sennett (splendid though the fellow may be). Your quilt is a lovely tribute.

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  7. What a beautiful thing. I really like the look of the ties poking through on the back, the play of stripes against stripes. I hope I live the sort of life that inspires my family to memorialise me in such a loving, useful, thoughtful way.

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  8. Such a lovely tribute to Belle. The stripes work really well together and I love the edging and backing fabric too. Am glad it got such a great first outing and especially lovely that it was a place that Belle enjoyed so much. (I love the photos and the dress is also fabulous).

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  9. Your quilt’s fabulous and inspiring. I’ve always liked the idea of a memory quilt made from t-shirts but working with t-shirt fabric scares me a little.

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  10. Love the quilt; a great way of remembering someone you love; wish I had been as interested in making as I am now when my beloved grandmother died 10 years ago.

    And that plate with black swirls on a white ground – it was in the previous post, too, I think. Wonderful!

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  11. I did not realize the quilt was made with shirts from someone who was so special to you. What a beautiful way to honor her – and with the first run in the botanical gardens. This quilt must have filled you up with memories of her while making it. I love this whole idea, from remembering someone special, to honoring them, to recycling, to the quilt as an art form to express all of this … and your comment about a “thoughtful and focused” experience of making it.

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  12. I enjoyed your quilt – wonderful colours and a perfect use for it. Very much in the vein of W Morris – both useful and beautiful. I have also just read your review of Sennett’s The Craftsman. He tells an appealing tale (very eruditely)but I wonder if he could have said a bit more about the exclusivity and power structures that are inherent within craft activities, especially when they are organised in Guild-like arrangements. Women, in particular, have suffered from craft exclusion. The re-uniting of ends and means within work might come at a price (the price being organising such work within elite ‘practices’), unless we re-define what work means entirely.

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  13. Congrats on completing the quilt! It is really beautiful, and such a wonderful memento. From what you’ve written about her, it seems this would be something that Belle would find really fitting.

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