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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Merlin's technicolour dream quilt

I've been meaning to blog about this quilt project for a while now. When I was expecting my first baby (Merlin now aged 2), my Mum had the idea to create a patchwork quilt made up of squares created by all the wonderfully creative women in our family and friends close to us. It was completed for Merlin's 1st birthday Dec 2010. 

The result is this magical technicolour dream quilt with a whole lot of history. There are pieces of retro 70s curtains from my baby room, embroidery from the baby bib of Merlin's grandmother, Merlin's father's embroidered school badge from his uniform showing the ashford river where he grew up. There is a crochet granny square by Merlin's great grandma, stunningly detailed embroideries by Merlin's great aunt in France, wonderful silk applique by some friends living in cambodia at the time which depict little scenes with fond memories of our friendship.  There is even Merlin's knitted umbilical cord tie made of bamboo yarn that I made to avoid the standard issue plastic one (complete with mummified belly button!). I know, I know... slightly weird but nevertheless all part of Merlin's birth story. 

click on image to view detail
The quilt project had its own facebook group where the most active members, my mother and auntie Corrie uploaded pictures of their squares as they went. There were squares from England, Cambodia, Australia and France. It was so touching to have so many dear friends and family add to the story of the quilt. It gives us as a family many visual cues about those dear to us, especially considering Merlin will always be on the otherside of the world to one half of his extended family. It's a story quilt. When he gets his own bed, this quilt alone will provide enough bedtime stories for an entire childhood.

To those of you who contributed, thank you for the love and creativity you bestowed these small squares of fabric that together will keep Merlin warm and entertained for years to come. It's truly an heirloom and we will treasure it always. Sorry it has taken me so long to actually show you photos of the finished piece!

Mum sewed all the squares together with the seams on the right side. With the squares all being quite different in size many of them would have lost quite a lot of their edges. The effect is that each square is kind of framed by its selvedge.

Contributors and relationship to Merlin

Bev (grandmother)
Pat (grandmother)
Corrie (great aunt)
Marilyn (great aunt)
Faye (great aunt)
Elaine (great grandmother)
Josephine (late great grandmother)
Penny & Ellie (aunt and cousin)
Heidi (aunt)
Brenna (mother)
Dominic (father)
Kirsten (friend)
Andrew (friend)
Daisy (friend)
Nami (friend)
Janet (friend)
Mags (friend)

some individual square that were photographed before the quilt was put together, click to see detail

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful quilt. And a wonderful tale of how it came about.


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