In 2002 a little quilt shop opened near me and I decided to do something that I’d dreamed of doing for years. I signed up for a beginning quilting class. I bought a sewing machine specifically so I could take the class and barely even knew how to thread it when I showed up on that first night of class. Our goal was to do a sampler quilt that would teach us a variety of piecing techniques – strips, curves, applique, squares, triangles, you name it. When I went to pick out my fabric, the shop suggested I choose a focal print and then choose coordinating fabrics from the colors in that print. I chose a beautiful Christmas fabric that was full of partridges and pears, a little metallic gold accent, purple ribbon, and so on. A decidedly Christmas subject, but not at all in the realm of traditional Christmas colors. But I loved it. I still love it, even though the fabrics are not something I would choose today.
Because I was a complete beginner, I wanted to practice my skills as much as possible so I chose to make two quilts. That second quilt I worked on at home and I completed both tops about the same time. You may recall my Pigwidgeon quilt (so named after the owl fabric I chose). The Pigwidgeon quilt has long since been quilted and bound (I sent it out for longarm quilting), but my sad partridges remained unfinished. I intended from the beginning to quilt this one on my machine, just doing a simple in the ditch quilting. But being new to sewing I had no idea what the reality of wrestling a quilt this size through my machine would be like. And all those angles and direction changes. Ugh! So, it languished in the closet for years. At Christmas this past year I decided it was high time to get it out and finish it. I knew it was going to be a huge pain in the butt to quilt, but I resolved to just take a deep breath and take it one block at a time. Amazingly, it only took two afternoons. And then I quickly sewed that binding on, and its label, and voila, c’est finis!
I can’t tell you how good it feels to have this one finished. My very first quilt. And as is often the case, the name for the quilt came to me while I was quilting it. During the month of December I read the most wonderful book of short stories called My True Love Gave to Me. I also got the best Christmas gift – Eric took me to the Dallas Arboretum to see the Twelve Days of Christmas display, which was wonderful! So, it seemed appropriate that this quilt should be officially named My True Love Gave to Me.
After finishing the quilt, I think I drove around with it in my car for over a month waiting for inspiration to strike on the perfect location to take some photos. And on a cold day in February, my wish came true. We got snow! So, I bundled up and trekked out to the park behind our house to take a few photos of my quilt. And, while they are not birds that are featured in that wonderful Christmas carol, I had the good fortune to see a group of five cardinals. I only managed to catch three of them in a photo, but what a gift to see so many together.
I’m so happy with my quilt. It’s by no means perfect, and it’s by no means “modern”, but it’s my first quilt. And it’s finished. I couldn’t ask for more.
It even was christened with some snowflakes while I was out on my walk. It is for sure a quilt, and a day, I will treasure and a wonderful reminder of my Christmas.
I am grateful for a snowy walk.