Kaori’s Hugs and Kisses quilt is back from the quilt shop! I understand a little better now about the long wait to get a quilt back since they let “emergency quilts” (like the Healing quilt) jump the quilting line, but it still so hard to wait to see the quilting. I could really see the time involved when I compared the trees in these pictures:
So it’s back, and now it’s gone, on it’s way to Kaori! Kaori and I have been through a lot together. We met online and have been penpals for I think about thirteen years. We’ve gone from being Moms of small children to Moms of adults and teens, we’ve celebrated and mourned together, worried and laughed together. She even sent her oldest daughter Anna to live with us for a summer! We dream of one day visiting each other and doing wonderfully ordinary everyday things in each other’s company, because we’ve been side by side so many times in our imaginations.
When I first decided I should learn to quilt, I made three little “trial” quilts. Kaori received this one from me because it features wild animals that live here in West Virginia.
I learned basic quilt construction, including scary binding, and Kaori got a tiny little quilt. I still get to see it in pictures from her house, with her cat, bunny, kids, husband and self all around it. So it’s no wonder that when I got better at quilting, I wanted her to have a “real” one.
I found a tutorial for a quilt called Hugs and Kisses at Little Miss Shabby and thought it was a wonderful start. I wanted to make a scrappy quilt so she could have a taste of “ordinary life” through my fabrics, but I also threw in a layer cake of Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda. The addition of these fabrics let me kind of choose a happy color palate while still keeping the “throw it all in there” feel to the quilt.
A fun thing about this quilt is that I got to use fabrics Kaori sent me! So it was a gift from her to me, that became a gift from me to her … and fabrics that traveled from Japan to West Virginia got to travel back home and bring their friends, too. Sometimes we are jealous of how easily “stuff” can visit back and forth!
This Hugs and Kisses design also felt right for Kaori because she has a trellis on her balcony, and I see the shape of it as much as I see X’s and O’s. :)
When my Mom visited while I was sewing blocks, she pointed out that she recognized the fabrics that she’d given me, that they seemed to “pop” right off the quilt to be noticed. I feel that way about all my fabrics, too, that feeling of recognition. This makes a scrappy quilt all that more personal, I think. And with many of the fabrics, I also think of a person who received something from that fabric, like I can’t see the fabric without connecting that person to it in my mind. So I feel like I’m sending little bits of friends and family to Kaori, too. Since we share many friends and know each other’s families, this seems just right.
So until the day when I can visit her myself, I hope she will enjoy the company of her new quilt and know that I count her as a friend as well as family!