Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Prodigal Quilt

It was the quilt that nearly got away. Yes, it was probably naive of me to send it by post, without tracking. But it was also exceptionally unlucky that this happened to be one of the (rare? frequent?) occasions on which the postal services of Europe let a carefully wrapped and packaged parcel slip through their fingers. Just like that, a quilt I made at my sister's request for her best friend's new baby - a very special quilt, therefore - disappeared without a trace.

I felt terrible about this for a multitude of reasons.  One, because gah why didn't I use the tracking option??  Two, because this was actually my very first order as the Seamstress Sans Frontières, my small-scale scheme of sewing special orders to raise money for charity. An emotionally charged one, because this was a very-much wanted baby born to a very-much loved friend.  My sister wanted to give something handmade specially for them, and I felt really privileged to be able to help. 

And without foreknowledge of the horrible postal disaster that was to come, it had been an absolute joy to make. The only really tough part was making fabric choices right at the start. We didn't know whether the baby would be a boy or a girl, and in any case I don't think I'd have consciously "gendered" the quilt anyway, but managing to keep it neutral and fun was a surprisingly challenging part of the process. I ended up with printed cottons and Kona solids from Plush Addict, and yellow backing from the Village Haberdashery, with scraps from the stash and binding and batting bought locally.  The zebras and "exotic places" prints are nods to time this little family has spent living in Africa.  And once I'd got the fabric picked, I sewed it into squares and played with it randomly arranged on the floor until I liked it. 

All in all, I don't think it turned out that bad* :

* That's British for: I think it f*cking rocked!!!!

Especially as this was my first EVER proper quilt.  Yeah, I was nervous about that.  I also spent the whole time thinking with amazement: who knew quilting was this much fun??! (I know, I know).  I mean - it sort of cracked me up to see all this spewing out of my sewing machine. I quilted till it was frothing at the mouth! And until my arms ached.  Again, who knew? (Um, all quilters, I suppose).

And then I wrapped it up and posted it and it got lost and we were all a bit devastated and I was just wondering whether to do it all over again and then, about three weeks ago, I got a note from our local post office.

It said I had a package to collect. What package, I thought? I haven't ordered anything.

So I went, and I handed over my note. And as the woman carried the parcel back over, it dawned on me. Against all expectations, here it was!

One manhandled but unharmed baby quilt, Returned To Sender.

I took it home, wrapped it up even better, and posted it again WITH TRACKING.

Signed, sealed and delivered: one happy ending!


  1. So happy to hear they finally sent the parcel back to you as that is a really beautiful quilt. I have no luck with the postal services this year, 3 parcels to me lost (2 after the postman left an avis in my letter box that he had tried to deliver!!) and 1 lost from me - and when I called the post office about the last parcel they told me "we never lose parcels"....

  2. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.comMay 18, 2014 8:28 pm

    So glad you were reunited. A happy ending.

  3. It's bloomin' lovely ("ok" as we Brits might say!) and I'm so glad it got returned to you! Quilting is definitely fun!

  4. Thank god there is a happy ending, because that is one beautiful quilt!! It really does rock and I bet it will be absolutely loved! Colours are spot on btw :)

  5. Yay for happy endings! Also, I can't believe I *just* found your blog, now that we moved from Brussels to the States! I had zero sewing friends, would've been nice to meet up! Oh well... BTW, your sewing room looks almos exactly like mine did! lol, same table too, just different legs. Gotta love Ikea ;)

  6. Hi Sandra! What a shame we 'missed' each other, meeting up would have been fun! There's a few of us around but I don't know many other sewers here either really. Ah well - I hope your move went ok!


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