There's a story to this quilt and it's a strange one! Years ago our quilt group made "ugly 9-patch" blocks and exchanged them...I made a quilt out of my set and love it to pieces. Lori opted not to use her blocks and gave them to me and I decided instead of another 9-patch quilt that I would cut those blocks into smaller blocks and then resew them...then the ugly fabrics would be smaller and less noticeable, at least that was the goal.
The blocks were re-sewn, the sashing and borders were added and the top was complete...but there was just one problem, I didn't like it. Actually, I hated it...and so it went to the bottom of my "to finish" pile, where it stayed, marinating, for about a year.
About a year and half after this top was made, our quilt group had a sew day for American Hero Quilts, and we asked people in our community to come and help. One of those who came to help was Janice Ryther, someone who has a heart so big that it amazes me she can walk upright. I took this top to the sew day, to raffle it off to whoever wanted it...and Kareena won the quilt...Janice was next to her and said she really liked it so Kareena said, "It's yours!" Kareena is generous to a fault! I was thrilled someone liked the top and wanted it....but...Janice is not a quilter/sewer...and I remember wondering how she would get the top finished...
Notice the yellow striped fabric? It was not sewn in but left open as a "ruffle" - it's the one thing I really liked about this quilt...So Janice took the top home and I quickly put it out of my mind. Fast forward three years - Janice offers to host a bridal shower for my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law...someone Janice doesn't even know! (And it was the most amazing shower!!! Not only did Janice not know my future d-i-l, but no one else at the shower did either! The place was packed and my friends, the most amazing women on the planet, showered Jessica with beautiful gifts, and more importantly, with love and good wishes!!! I wish you all could have seen it - truly wonderful and both Jessica and I were overwhelmed at their kindness and generosity.)
My friends Megan and Linda offered to help with the shower, too, (they made amazing food!) and so before the shower I went shopping for some thank you gifts to give to these wonderful women. I had no trouble finding gifts for Megan and Linda but I couldn't decide on anything for Janice, and then I remembered the quilt top. At the time, Janice and her husband were out of town... I called their daughter and asked her if she could get the top for me - she was all over breaking and entering! She brought me the top and assured me Janice would never miss it as it was in a pile of "things." So I went to work...picked a flannel backing, got it quilted and bound and evey time I talked with Janice on the phone or in email I had to be very careful not to say, "I'm working on your quilt!"
The minute I pulled this quilt from the dryer a funny thing happened...I fell in love with it!!! Why does that always happen?!?! It's so soft and warm and I love how it's sort of got a modern vibe to it - and here's the thing, it goes perfectly in Janice's home! So after the shower, I wrapped it up and took it to Janice and before she opened it I asked her if she was missing anything...and to my surprise she said YES! I can't find my quilt top!! But, she wasn't stressed about it, she just thought it was odd it wasn't in it's usual place and thought she must have stuck it somewhere - so she guessed what was in the bag before she opened it. And here's the kicker...Janice had planned to have the top finished, she even had backing for it! (Which her daughter didn't know about! She had picked a gold on gold fabric for the backing, very different from what I chose.) But I think Janice was happy with how it turned out - and I am thrilled I could do something for her that she liked!
There you have it...the story of Janice's quilt, it's a good one, no? Thanks for the lovely shower Janice and for being such a great friend!