You guys may want to go and make a coffee before you start reading this one – it promises to be long. This post comes with lots of stories, pictures and tales of joy and friendship – perfect for this time of the year!
So first I would like to take you all on a strange journey ….. (rocky horror anyone? anyone?) Now it wasn’t really strange but more socially awkward, as are most of my daily interactions. Just over 10 years ago I wandered into a local mothers group with Cooper, who had just turned one. I hadn’t been in our area long and was feeling a bit disconnected and in need of connection. Now guys I have this dreadful issue with resting bitch face. I can’t help it at all as it is all part of the socially awkward thing I have going on. Anyhoo I was pretty much assuming this was going to be another bust when out of the corner of my eye I spotted the cutest little boy. He looked about the same age as Coop and they were dressed virtually identically down to their cute Nike sneakers. It took less than a minute for his mum and I to strike up a conversation and now all these years later here we are. Cooper and Darcy are still besties and they do nearly everything together. And all our girls have a special bond too and as a result of this so many of our family memories are entwined together. I sadly don’t have any photos of those early days due to a dead computer but here is a few I pulled together from trusty Facebook – so much cute!
Over the years we have shared more than most – and there are times when my family has had to heavily rely on Naomi’s for basic survival. When Hannah was born and diagnosed with her heart condition it was the Moros who took in my big 2 while we spent months and months in hospital both here and interstate. They have received Sunday afternoon phone calls, calls on their birthday, sudden calls late at night and each and every time they have opened their heart and home to my big 2 and supported us all through surgeries, sudden diagnoses, terrible news, doctors appointments, you name it. So as I am sure you can tell they hold a special place in my family’s heart. And clearly after 10 years it is a friendship built on forever.
For as long as I have been making quilts I have wanted to make Naomi one. She built her dream home this year on a beautiful farm and so it was the perfect time. Many years ago on one of our late night internet trawls we were discussing fabrics and quilts. I remember so clearly her saying that no matter what fabrics she started looking at she was sure she would always come back to navy and white, her favourite colour scheme. I have held onto that bit of information for a long time, filed away in the back of my mind with all the other important things I want to remember about my friends.
Many fabric collections nearly swayed me but in the end it was Blue Carolina by the Tattooed Quilter for Riley Blake Designs that won my heart – those blues! There are so many sweet florals mixed with classic prints and then a touch of fun thrown in with the dogs. I knew immediately it was the range I wanted to make her mama throw in.
Then (and yes there is more!) the lovely Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts announced a quiltalong for her Geode quilt pattern. I had the quilt saved in my must make list for a while so took it to be kismet, purchased the pattern, downloaded it and off I went. (Quick side note: many many years ago Alyce bought a pram blanket from me at a local market. What a buzz it was to reconnect so many years later and to see her setting the quilting world on fire with patterns, quiltalongs, sewing beehives – the whole works!) I made my first block and was quickly hooked. Sadly my own health took a dive in the month of November and I was diagnosed with double pneumonia meaning I couldn’t finish in time. I like to think I would have won all the prizes lol.
In true me form I adapted Alyce’s pattern slightly only making the Block 1 style and leaving out Block 2. I love how it turned out and it gave me so many other ideas for how I would like to further play with the pattern in future.
So with a finished quilt in my hands I knew exactly where I wanted to take my photos. Every day on my drive to school I pass this old barn, owned by the original landowners. I loved the old stone and knew it would add beautiful texture and dimension to my photos. The end result was better than I imagined!
There is something about a stone building isn’t there. Like quilts they were a true labour of time and love. Practical, functional and so beautiful.
Oh look a gate – the quintessential quilt photo prop.
I quilted the quilt in a chevron pattern running down instead of across. So many hours right there. I kept it a bit rustic and didn’t sweat the inevitable imperfect lines. When washed it added a charm to the quilt and made it perfectly handmade.
And a cool thing was that, in photographing this quilt and asking some questions about a local group I managed to learn so much more about my area. This park was part of the original farm in the area owned by the Martin Family. Somewhere down there closer to the beach is the original farmhouse, which I will absolutely hunt out for a future quilty photo shoot. I am kind of excited now to find out what other gorgeous buildings I am going to find in my travels.
Seriously guys I took a lot of photos – and this time so many turned out great. This posts definitely makes up for all of those where I apologise for the lack of detail hahaha!
And before I forget let me explain the navy star backing. Maybe not a traditional choice but Naomi and I have bonded multiple times over the years over our mutual obsession with navy stars so it was perfect. Our friendship has been woven right in there in such a way I hope to make her smile every single time she looks at it.
Now arty photo anyone?
Or shall we go with the garden shot on our way to the car?
I will stop now I promise. Clearly navy and white quilts are my muse – this one sure was a very obliging supermodel!
So there we have it – possibly my longest post in a while but hopefully you all enjoyed reading it. I loved making a quilt with a friend in mind, agonizing over small decisions, hoping fervently she could see the love poured in to each and every part of it. And I hope to see it sitting over her chair while we drink many more cups of coffee than we should for years and years to come.