Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Some quilts are just meant to be.

I picked out the fabrics I used in this quilt with the intention of making a pillow for the Pillow Talk Swap on Instagram. One sunny Saturday afternoon I took the stack of fabric near a bright window to snap a picture with my phone. My husband always makes fun of the people who include their toes and/or shoes in pictures, so noticing that the shoes I was wearing actually matched the fabric, I smirked and included them in the shot just for him.

It was fate.

I really love these shoes, but, truthfully, they are a little big on me. The next day we went for a Sunday walk and in the midst of a lovely visit on a perfect fall day, my right foot stepped off the sidewalk and onto the grass. It was the smallest of missteps and disaster didn't strike until I tried to regain my balance with the bulk of my weight on the opposite foot. That's when my foot slid around in my too-big shoes, was sprained pretty badly, and I ended up as a heap on the sidewalk.


In less than a second, I was surrounded by my husband and children. They were so concerned! My bleeding hands were examined. My back was patted. My pants were brushed off. Tears were shed on my behalf. The boys took turns walking their scooters next to me as I limped home. My daughter heard me tell my husband that my hands were on fire and kept pressing her cool fingers against my scratched palms to make sure I was okay. Once we got home, Daddy was carefully supervised while he helped me lay down on the couch with my foot propped up. My boys brought over the glass of water that I swallowed the Tylenol with. I closed my eyes and tried to rest.

That SO wasn't happening. I didn't have my eyes closed for 30 seconds before the first child sidled up to me and asked, "So what's for dinner?" Within the space of 5 minutes, all three of them had found a time to individually approach the couch to wonder about my dinner plans. The questioning may have been a little jarring and a bit inappropriate at that particular time, but I do get a kick out of my three little foodies. I love making bread and recently have discovered Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. We've been systematically working our way through his recipes and the kids have been loving every minute of it. My seven year old was surprised when no one at his lunch table was as excited as he was that I'd packed a Nutella sandwich on brioche for his lunch. Just yesterday I was reading a book with some Spanish vocabulary in it to my little girl. I asked her if she remembered what the Spanish word for 'hi' was and she emphatically answered, "CHALLAH!" I didn't correct her. I think pie is pretty universal for hospitality and challah definitely counts as hello....at least in my world.

So, with this experience fresh in my mind, I went back to the fabrics I had originally chosen and started thinking. What I finally decided on was that my fabric choices were very gentle and soothing. I thought it would be fun to add two more colors to work as the jarring, insistent question in that sea of quiet solicitation. I chose the hot pink and turquoise because I knew that they would vibrate next to each other. I used this combination as the center of every log cabin block that I constructed. I love how all the differently shaped centers help to create movement and make the name "Tumble" work for more reasons than just my embarrassing fall.

I made log cabin units in sizes that would be easy to tile together. The smallest blocks are 2.5" x 2.5," and the largest are 6.5" x 8.5."

Somewhere in the middle of piecing the 20" square I decided that my Pillow Talk partner wouldn't be receiving this as a pillow. I also decided to enlarge it to the 35" x 35" it is right now. I matchstick quilted this with Aurifil #1246 (grey). I also used the super-thin Quilter's Dream Request batting.

I took the quilt to the local recycling center with the awesome concrete walls (and convenient protruding bolts) for the pictures. I thought it seemed fitting for the quilt that became something different twice in its life. I also took a picture of it with the shoes that I love/hate because they seem to be cosmically linked. The coordinating socks were a happy accident.

Don't worry about my swap partner, either! I went back to her IG wall and found a picture of a cashmere scarf that she loved. Fully intending to purchase it, but waiting for it to drop lower in price, she ended up missing out. This pillow was inspired by the scarf she loved and does not own.

I'd like to end by sharing that my "Heading West" quilt won the Original Design category in the Blogger's Quilt Festival a few weeks ago and that "Finding Jade" was nominated for a Viewer's Choice award. For those of you that took the time to nominate/vote for these quilts, you have my heartfelt thanks. It truly means a lot.

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.