Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Dancing on the beach

A few weeks ago, Yvonne, over at Quilting Jetgirl, put out a request for help creating quilt blocks for a couple of special quilts-to-be. Back in the Autumn, her community was shaken by the sudden death of Mike Alsbury, a husband and father as well as being part of the wider community family to which Yvonne belongs. It's a tragedy that has obviously hit her tight knit community really hard, and I hate to think how hard it must have hit his immediate family.

Obviously a quilt isn't going to magically heal all the pain and loss; unfortunately nothing is. But I do think that most quilters around the world have a certain amount of faith in the healing power (however obviously limited it is) of quilts - both making and receiving them. It's hard to see how something so full of time and love and effort, which provides warmth and comfort and beauty, could have anything other than a positive effect on both maker and recipient. And I'm sure that's why so many quilters, particularly in times of trouble, turn to quilt making to try and help - themselves and others. (Remember this book for starters - Quilting for Peace?)

Yvonne was looking for 2 different types of blocks - ideally either music themed in blues/black and white or boat/ocean/dancing themed blocks using navys, teals, greys and pink or salmon. Of course the ocean themed blocks were the ones to appeal to me the most, and to fit in best with fabric on hand. So I have 2 blocks now ready to zip over to Yvonne.

First up, and obviously influenced by my fish sewing...

But then for my second I wanted to do something a little different. The suggestion of 'dancing' for the theme was, I think, more separate from the boat/ocean idea; but for me dancing goes perfectly with the ocean theme too. What better place to dance than on a wide, open beach? And I'm sure it's not just my children who do this, is it? Venetia is, predictably, the most frequent beach dancer, I often manage to snap her at it...

But Maria, when she's not pretending to be a dog on the beach, comes a close second in the dancing stakes, and the boys have been known to join in. I have a series of photos from a few years ago, of Theo and Maria dancing in the sea together as the sun set on the horizon behind them, which are some of my favourite photos ever.

And dancing on the beach, to me, sums up what childhood should be about. So I hope that the children in Yvonne's community, so affected by this tragedy, will still dance on the beach.

I'm quite worried that my blocks won't fit in with the others, especially as they don't really fit in so well together even, but I know Yvonne will create 2 beautiful quilts regardless, which is all that matters.



  1. They are both totally wonderful Sally and I love you're creativity, talent and thoughtfulness behind each one. I'm sure Yvonne and those that eventually sleep underneath them will love them too. Jen

  2. I love them Sally, and I think they are perfect. So much thought, care and love went into them.

  3. Oh my goodness, Sally, I love them. I think they are perfect just the way they are. Thank you so much!

  4. Sally, beautiful work as always, I love the way you put your heart and soul in to your work X

  5. Sally, your blocks are perfect! The thought and care you put into them is wonderful. They will make a beautiful addition to the quilt! :)

  6. Both blocks are lovely, Sally, but I especially love the dancing on the beach one.

  7. Both of your blocks are beautiful and I am sure they will fit in nicely. This is for such a worthy cause and your blocks will be greatly appreciated. Nicely done!

  8. They are both absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure they'll bring comfort where it's most needed

  9. Love, love, LOVE your beach perfectly sweet.


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