So, on with the story.....
Coincidentally in her first email, Merida told me the area where her family lived. As my address doesn't appear on the blog anywhere she had no way of knowing that her parents and I were in the same neighbourhood! I decided that it was just too much of a coincidence so Caroline and I just had to have a hand in making Merida's quilt BUT I thought it would be nice to find out what she really likes. So......I thought let's see if I can find her parents.
Piece of cake!
One phone call later and I was chatting to her mum and asking her what sort of colours etc Merida likes. Mum, Elinor (name also changed to protect the innocent) , was really interested in what we were doing and so I invited her to come by the next day while Caroline was here so that she could help up pick out the fabric for her daughter's quilt!
Merida's Mum said she really wished she could help out some way, and I always say that if you can sew a straight line you can sew a quilt, so the next time Caroline and I got together, Elinor came over with her sewing machine and helped us to put Merida's quilt top together.
Once the quilt top was together we sent it off with the wonderful Carol for quilting. In the mean time we gave Elinor some homework.
Merida had also encouraged a friend to request a quilt, or maybe she requested it for him. This friend wasn't really sure that quilts were for him till he saw one of Liz's quilts.
There was no way I was going to copy someone else's quilt, but I decided that we could pull colours from Liz' quilt and see what we could come up with, but we had to work with what we had. So Caroline and I pulled some fabrics and we cut out a bunch of 6 1/2 inch squares for big nine patches. We arranged them into groups of nine and sent Elinor home with them for homework.
Once they were all completed Elinor came back and we cut the blocks into quarters for Disappearing Nine Patches and then put them up on the design wall to arrange them. Again Elinor went home with homework - this time to sew all the blocks into rows and all the rows into a quilt top. At this point I just have to tell you Elinor is very fussy!
If her points were out by one mm she was not happy and OH MY GOODNESS she did not like some of the kangaroos being upside down! The centre of each of the nine patches is that pale kangaroo fabric and with a disappearing nine patch there is no way that all of them are going to be the right way up - poor Elinor! LOL
All the time that this was going on I was writing emails to Merida telling her about the "novice quilter" that we were teaching; how fussy she was, how she would be unhappy if her seams were out by 1mm and how she would get upset because some of the kangaroos were not the right way up. Hee Hee. Merida later told me that my description of the fussy novice quilter made her think of her Mum!!!
I appliqued a few kangaroos on the quilt top and apparently I put them on the wrong end as that meant even more of the original kangaroos were now upside down - OOPS!!
Once the quilt top was together for Merida's friend, we had to take it to Carol so that she could quilt it. Elinor wanted to see what happened in the quilting process too, as Carol had quilted Merida's quilt which was all ready for us to take home.
As Merida is about as girly as any girl could get we decorated her box with a whole bunch of pretty butterfly stickers. Merida had been receiving quilts to pass on to other people as well as laundry bags so I thought that seeing as she was finally getting her quilt her box should look a little different! More obligatory photos followed, this time an action shot of Caroline.
It started off something like this -
All the time things were underway here I had been emailing with Merida and slipping in little bits and pieces that would become relevant once she knew the full story. I explained some of them in the letter - for example
I have had lots more email chats with Merida since then. She has been working very hard as our unofficial Aussie Hero Liaison Officer over there and has loved it (or at least that is what she is kind enough to tell me!) I am really excited to say that when she eventually comes home I will be able to chat her! Can't wait! I am sure there will be lots of laughs to share and lots of stories.
Till next time................keep spreading the word and happy stitching!