Sunday, October 26, 2014

To Holland with Love ♡♡♡

I call it, Petal Magic.

 'Always be prepared,' they told me when I was a little Girl Scout.  Although I may have earned that badge to sew on my sash, these words never stuck with me as I grew into a teenager and young adult.  Instead, I proudly waved the 'Fly By the Seat of My Pants' banner in the wind.  Now that's all good 'n dandy for some, but when it comes to creating a handmade Christmas gift to send to your bestie who lives halfway around the world in The Netherlands, I've learned to never trust the post and prepare way in advance.

Instead of making a full sized quilt (large enough to accommodate an amply-statured Dutch hubby) like I did last year, I focused on a smaller piece:  a small mat about the same size as a vinyl record cover.  Having a smaller format to work with really freed me from the pressures of coming up with an 'amazing design'.  I knew I wanted to use bright colors in my piece to cheer up my bestie during those gloomy Utrecht winters.  So I selected my fabrics for the piece....

....and started to stitch things together!  With craft zen guiding me, I created this layout below:

As I admired my design, I was amazed at how my intuitive abilities led me to create a symbolic piece that captures Holland, my bestie's new home.  Who knows if it was pure coincidence that those 'droplet' appliqu├ęs look like tulip petals and the striped piecing in the background resembles a 'windmill'.  It must be Petal Magic!

To make this little mat something special, I added tons of decorative hand-stitching:  blanket stitching around the petals and on the binding and hand-stitched echo quilting around the petals.  
All that hand-stitching definitely put me in a needles groove and a relaxing meditative zone.  I like to call this 'slewing', a portmanteau of the words slow + sew.  ¡Viva the Slew Revolution!

and Hello Sunshine!