Just under two years ago, I received a wonderful gift! Without my knowledge, two of my on-line friends (never met) organised a Nanny’s Birthday Surprise.
Wendy and Ineke set up a facebook page , blocked me so that I couldn’t see and they were off and running! They decided to send me 9 patch blocks in my favourite colour – purple, and they rallied others to join them. On my birthday, these envelopes started to arrive and to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement!
Over the days following my birthday, the mailman kept calling and I received beautiful cards with words of friendship from people I didn’t know and each contained at least one 9 patch block. A couple didn’t have time to make a block and so sent me the fabric squares and one member was in New Zealand, away from her sewing gear and so sent me a purple NZ bag and silver fern badge. This bag held all of the blocks and cards while I tried to plan.
Ineke included two ‘special’ blocks – a heart and a bee ( the members of my Nanny Swapz call me Queen Bee)
I spread them all out to show the group what I had received:
Then the time just seemed to slip by as life kept ‘intruding’ in on my sewing plans! I worried that I wasn’t getting my quilt done and more time passed me by.
I played with the blocks, put them back in my purple NZ bag, played with them some more and finally decided to organise them into groups of four. I tried to look at colour values ie light and dark and also tried to spread the splashes of yellow to give balance. I then decided to make the blocks the heroes of the quilt, I needed a light sashing with a medium corner block.
I loved how it all came together – Lorraine had sent me three blocks so they became corner blocks and the Happy Birthday block from Heather was perfect for the other corner!
and I was soon searching for a suitable backing.
With the backing sorted, I still wasn’t finished – I still had the fabric squares and a mugmat sent by Mary. I decided to contact Mary and asked if I could incorporate the mugmat into the quilt and Mary was most generous and gave me the Ok to undo the mugmat or to do whatever I liked . The mugmat became the feature on the back of the quilt where I wanted to acknowledge all of the contributors. I decide to do this by embroidering all of the names around the mugmat top, separated by the pansies from the back of the mugmat and to me it was ‘perfect’!
I then cut up the fabric squares and made two smaller 9 patch blocks which I decided to set on point. I had now succeeded in using all of my gifts in the creation of my quilt and I was so excited!
It was now time to pin!
For the quilting, I decided to ‘eyeball’ diagonals on the 9 patches and stitch in the ditch to preserve Ineke’s blocks and Clare’s pansy block.
I thought I would use the backing fabric for the binding as well but it looked dreadful so off to the stash! I found a pack of purple 2.5″ strips that I received as Queen in one of the ‘hives’ we had run at Nanny Swapz and would you believe that it matched a fabric used by one of the quilters in the making of the 9 patch blocks?? Perfect!!!
My good friend Sue then offered – no insisted – that she would love to hand stitch the binding for me and my quilt was done!
To Wendy and Ineke – Thank You!! To all of the wonderful women who took the time to do this for me – Thank You!! I apologise for the time delay but hope that you like what I finally came up with in my Nanny’s Birthday Surprise Quilt.
It certainly was a birthday that I will never forget – I was truly humbled by your gestures of friendship
and my wish is that one day I might get to thank each of you in person!
Until next time