Thursday, 4 August 2016

Throwup, Sorry, Throwback Thursday

There are loads of linky partied in QBL (quilting blog land). You could link up every day in every way if you had the time, and the "stuff" to blog out. You would get pretty bored reading it. One linky party that is fun is Throwback Thursday, the first Thursday in the month. It originated first of all in the USA, as lots of new social media ideas do. I  have a vague feeling it may have something to do with a Mama And The Papas' (Papa's) song, but I stand to be corrected. Anyhow, you blog or # something important to you from another era. Jenn at www.aquarterinchfromtheedge hosts the linkup.

I'm sorry I cant get a better face on photo in my narrow hall.

This particular quilt came to mention when blogging about the mini mini Sandra sent me, and I thought I would tell the complete story.

 A few years ago, in the summer of 1999 to be precise, my 9 year old daughter and I went for a walk. Weirdly I remember it was a Wednesday afternoon. A flock of geese flew over us, Canadian or otherwise, and I told my daughter they were geese from Canada, and they were flying either south, or north for  the winter. Anyhow, they were flying overhead, in a v shape and doing a lot of squawking. I explained how they flew in that formation to ease their passage through the air currents. The leader broke the wind current, and it made it easier for the others to follow, they could cruise along the current easier. I also claimed with great authority, that the geese take it in turns to be leader, to share the burden.

I explained that patchwork blocks have names and usually represent something. There is a block called flying geese, and until June of this year they had always defeated me.

I am a good mother like that, educate whilst having fun. I have no idea as to the science of all this, but it sounded good.

When we came home she asked me if I could sew her a cushion with the flying geese block. I remember then my heart sank. Now, 17 years later I could so do that! Then this cushion changed to a sewn picture with the geese flying overhead in the sky and us out for a walk down below. This I could actually have had a stab at. Once my sons heard about this, they wanted to be included in this picture too. Around about that time I had seen a book on photo quilts and promptly bought it. Any excuse to buy a book!

By this stage the picture had grown in the planning to a full size wall quilt depicting our family over the years. The children had great fun sorting out their favourite photos. These were duly photo transferred onto Ulster Linen and framed with fabric. In keeping with the original applique idea, I made a couple of applique pictures.

Some are better than others. Rather surprising inclusions were The Simpson family and Henry V111. Grandparents were also included, after all they are part of our family too, whether dead or alive.

My husband then thought it needed a little je ne sais quoi. Except he did knew exactly what it needed. Some embroidery just to finish it off. He had recently read Captain Corelli's Mandolin and had been very taken by one particular phrase.

"When being in love subsides you have to work out if your roots have so entwined that you will never part"

Thankfully our roots have entwined.

He also came up with the idea that it would become our Millennium quilt. Little bit of pressure there in the tail end of 1999 to get it finished for 1 January 2000.

This was duly embroidered in running stitch in brown embroidery floss. I tried chain stitch but it was too bulky. Now I would use cotton perle and possibly a split stitch. I have a fancy to try embroidery again.

Next up we started attaching badges or pins, or rather the kids did. This was destined to be an interactive quilt, a real family collaboration. After a while the quilt began to sag on its nails banged into the wall, no fancy quilt hangers here. We were also afraid it would fade, and this is to be a family heirloom! My husband left it in to get framed as a surprise. I must admit I did miss it from the wall!

My daughter, as youngest children tend to, especially girls, told the boys they could look but when I'm dead it passes on to her! Mind you she also divided my teapot collection between the three of them at that stage. Somehow I doubt my sons will be looking for teapots!

I'm sorry the photos aren't great, unfortunately it is hard to get far away enough in our hall for a decent photo. We should have bought the stately home instead.

And now another chance to the see the lovely mini mini Sandra sent me with the Canadian Flying Geese, front and back.

And lastly, you may have seen my post yesterday on my gallery of 2016 finishes. Never put me in charge! I decided to do some virtual housekeeping, set up a page of gallery finishes for 2016. It seemed to have gone into a post rather than a page. Ah well, my blogging has been rather frequent this week. Just as some of my favourite bloggers seem to be blogging less, I get my house in order!

Helen x
linking up with Jenn www.quarterinchfromtheedge Throwback Thursday


  1. Wow! What a quilt! A family affair true and true! It's a difficult time of year to blog religiously....even to sew! With little trips here and there, yard work, you know! But blogging will pick up again, you wait and see! Have a wonderful upcoming weekend! XO

  2. What a brilliant way to record family life.

  3. That's brilliant! I love that the whole family was involved in the making))) Definitely something to remember!

  4. I think it's great that you have an interactive heirloom hanging in your hall. What a wonderful testament to family life.

  5. What an awesome quilt and story behind it, Helen. Any particular significance to including the Simpsons? :)

  6. What a wonderful family project! I bet that when you have guests, they spend a significant amount of time in your hall admiring and asking questions. Do you still add pins to it?

  7. What a wonderful family heirloom. Imagine what wouldn't have been created if you had all the modern day on-line tutorials for easy flying geese blocks?! In our family, we always joke about there being post-it notes on things that family members want! Thanks for telling this tale and for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!


  9. Great quilt. The mini from Sandra is fun. Good luck with getting the house in order....I seem to be failing at that particular task. LOL

  10. Really enjoyed looking at the photos and reading about the creation of your family quilt - very special ☺

  11. That's a lovely family quilt you made. Love it!


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