She's both a miniaturist and a fine needlewoman, and she belongs to the same stitching guild that I'm a member of. When I saw her in May, she told me she was thinking about making a quilt shop. That's when I decided to create a tutorial on mini fabric bolts to share with other members of our guild so they could have some fun making bolts for her. The plan was to also create a few other tutorials like: bags of batting, rolled fat quarters, quilt rulers, and maybe even a few tiny quilt blocks. We'd spend all summer making her little things and then give everything to her in September.
However we were all given the bad news... the chemo isn't working. So I sped things up by quite a bit and focused on the basics: fabric bolts and fat quarters. The first group of ladies went to work two weeks ago on bolts. That's when a friend came up with the adorable fat quarter bundles.
I spent the next several days basically kitting up the supplies for more people to make bolts and glued/folded close to one thousand (or more) mini fat quarters to be made into bundles. FH helped lots with the fat quarters. He even made two bolts of fabric.
Here is the result of this labor of love: 221 bolts of fabric (many are signed by the ladies who rolled them), 107 fat quarter bundles, a basket of fat quarters and scrap basket (made by me), and a "store sample" quilt and mini hanks of fibers for embroidery (made by the friend who created the first bundle). The collective work of 21 people is in these pictures.
Another mutual friend who is both a stitcher and miniaturist made some lovely minis on her own, but I didn't manage to get pictures. She did 12 fabric bolts, 12 rolls fat quarters, some adorable storage boxes, several quilting magazines, and three "store sample" quilts.
Most of the fabrics we used came out of my stash... or I went and bought some, but seven other ladies raided their stashes or went and purchased fabrics after seeing examples of what would work. Two more offered to scour their stashes as well, but the quilt shop will already be overflowing.
Everyone had a wonderful time making the minis, and our friend was so happy and surprised that we thought of her. I will admit she got a bigger smile on her face when I told her that two of our stitching friends now want to make their own miniature quilt shops. So I'll be coming up with more tutorials after all.
I'm hoping to get them started on their shops soon, so our friend can watch their progress. She's having a hard time seeing fine details now and can't use anything sharp (x-actos and saws), so I'll be helping her build her newest dollhouse kit on the days she feels well enough to order me around. I'll also be working on my own quilt shop. Something will need to be done with the results from creating the tutorials.
I also need to buckle down and finish the Panda Nursery, even though it's future is unknown. I stopped working on it when my dad fell and broke his hip... followed by my mother needing emergency surgery... resulting in many trips down south to help them take care of things. Then Tempie passed away and I started falling into a deep depression.
To make things worse, Shirley informed me that her daughter-in-law, the baby's mother, was divorcing her son and was preventing her from seeing the baby. I honestly didn't know how to proceed after that point, in fact I was unsure of even asking Shirley about the project for fear of upsetting her. Enough time has passed now that her hurt is less raw and I'm in a better mental and emotional state to handle finishing everything up. It bothers me seeing the unfinished room and the boxes filled with the wonderful minis from people all over the world just sitting there.
I'm not sure what Shirley will want to do with the nursery when it's done. But I'm going to finish it anyway.
So the projects on the horizon will be:
- creating tutorials for more quilting miniatures
- the Panda Nursery
- my own quilt shop
- helping three ladies with their quilt shops
- gifts for my StL mini group folks' birthdays and Christmas
- the Black Bear cross stitch
- the Aragon Blackwork
- whatever else strikes my fancy