It’s the day of love! And what better way to commemorate it than quilting up a little token of love and appreciation?!
I’m not one for going all out on Valentine’s Day. For me, it’s all about the small gestures that I cherish the most. And that’s exactly how I show my love too! A special dinner and homemade dessert are usually my go-to for showering some love on my significant other.
With all the challenges people are facing on a daily basis – no matter how big or small – we can sometimes forget there is still a lot of love in this world. And, to me, that’s what the day of love if all about – reaching out and reminding everyone that we care, we see them and we love them.
So, when I stumbled across Lee of May Chappell’s Love All Around Block and heard the story behind why she designed it, I was completely smitten and eager to participate.
Essentially, she was tired of all the negativity she was seeing in the world at large and wanted to design a quilt block that would stem entirely from love and kindness. And she encouraged us to take a moment to show that love and kindness to others. All sentiments and actions I can get on-board with!!
And so, I have!
So far, this is the first Love All Around quilt block that I’ve made.
I dug through my fabric scraps and uncovered a small remnant of this Blossom print by Amy Butler. (Side note – I was pretty sure it was Amy Butler, but totally had to Google that as I didn’t have any selvage to reference!) I picked it up as part of a scrap bag I made up back in 2011 at Emeline & Annabelle (a local sewing studio and shop that has since sadly closed down).
The central hourglass block calls for two 6” squares and I could barely eek out 5 ¼” from my fabric scrap. But I had my heart set on using this fabric and wasn’t ready to let it go. So, I decided to take a chance and make my hourglass block using two 5 ¼” squares. It worked out perfectly! I still had just enough room to trim it down to the required 4 ½”!! (Note - I didn't use the hourglass technique Lee shares in her tutorial.) Sometimes things just work out as they are supposed to ;)
I paired that with some beige linen that has a very faint chevron print in it (and feels divine, I might add!) and some Kona Cotton in Woodrose #1393 and Turquoise #1376.
Once I had her all sewn together, I was at a loss as to what to do with her. Should I leave her as is and send it off to a quilty friend? Or save her and create a larger quilted project? In the end, I decided to show her some extra love and attention with some big stitch hand quilting. Oh, yes, I did!
I initially planned on using contrasting thread in the various parts of the block, but was concerned that would distract from the block design. So, I went for complimentary colours in all sections except for the outer rim of the central block. I thought this gave the final look a little punch while also highlighting the central design. Apart from the Ecru thread which is DMC Pearl Cotton #8, I used Aurifil 12wt in the colours Turquoise #2810, Fuchsia #4020, and Lemon #2115.
The backing is Kona Cotton in Iron #408. I just love how the hand quilting design pops on the back J
Not sure if I’m just taking saving fabric scraps to a whole other extreme, but I keep all my extra binding bits. They’re all neatly rolled up and stored in a little planter for ease of access – both to toss in and grab ;) When I’m working on a small project, I check this little spot to see if anything would work. And low and behold I had a little of this light blue binding in Kona Cotton Robin Egg #1514 that I thought paired perfectly! Plus, it kept the block from feeling too matchy-matchy.
I still don’t have a clue who I will gift it to. But I did make a small error with the binding, which ended up puckering L I’m tempted to throw it up on my wall of mini-quilts to remind myself of (1) the importance to prioritise spreading love and kindness and (2) that small mistakes are all part of the process and don’t equate a failure (i.e. show myself a little love too!).
Small gestures truly do have the greatest impact and can really brighten someone’s day. If we all took a moment to do a simple act of kindness – hold the door open, smile at a stranger, tell a co-worker you appreciate their hard work – we would all live in a brighter world. Take the time and spread the love – it’s one of the few things that are truly free and infinite.
I hope you will join me and participate (tutorial available here) in this great initiative of spreading a little love and kindness.
Happy Valentine’s Day my friends!