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We’ve been experiencing an unusual cold snap this week, which has provided an absolutely perfect holiday atmosphere.

Christmas spirit...

Christmas spirit...

... complete with snow!

...complete with snow!

Despite my best efforts to remain productive, I’ve been losing steam. I’ve got about two feet to go on the scarf for Dad, which I’ve begun to second-guess. I’m becoming more and more certain he’ll never wear it. I really should have made a toque – it would have taken half the yarn, half the time and he would have been much more likely to use it. Ah, well. The thought of frogging it makes me want to cry, so I’ll soldier on. Despite my frustration on that front, it’s a very peaceful project and I’m finding it meditative and fun.

I stayed in for most of the weekend, watching the snow and listening to How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the Vinyl Cafe. I didn’t knit much at all… but I have a good excuse.

Blue jean quilt

Blue jean quilt

Now, before it seems like I’m trying to take the credit, the quilt you see in that picture was brought into existence without any help from me. It was created by my Mother, an absolutely amazing woman who passed away this year. I’m not ready to touch on that story in too much detail, but I think it’s the right time to tell the story of this quilt.

About four years ago, my Mom made two blue jean quilts to send to my cousins in Ontario. In a heartbreaking twist of fate, one of them was lost in the mail. We’re still not entirely sure what happened, though it seems likely that a neighbour may have stolen it. Please, everyone, learn from our mistake: never send anything of sentimental value without a tracking number and requiring a signature upon receipt.

In progress

In progress

My Mom always intended on replacing it, and this year she made a big push to have it ready in time for Christmas. Unfortunately her health made it difficult, but some wonderful people lent their hands to the project. As a result, there are some inconsistencies in the work, but it’s beautiful because they represent the individuals who cared for my Mom and wanted to help her bring it to completion.

Work on the quilt came to a pause in August, and in the fall I brought it back to Vancouver with me. I planned on finishing the hand quilting, fixing two accidentally reversed star motifs, and sewing on the binding. I’m not an experienced quilter, or seamstress, but I know my way around a sewing machine. It seems right for me to finish what she started.

Embroidery is not my strong suit.

Embroidery is not my strong suit

Pinned binding.

Pinned binding

I have to admit that I put this off for a while. I’m not sure if I was reluctant to touch it for emotional reasons, or simply because it’s a big job and I’m a bit of a procrastinator. Regardless, I had to get it done this weekend lest the Christmas deadline be missed. In the end, it only actually took one solid day of work, with the pinning taking up the most time. The sewing was a breeze, though I could clearly use a little more practice. I’m feeling inspired to start using my machine more often.

When the work was complete, I took it to a laundromat to run it through a double-load washer. In the ultimate enactment of Murphy’s Law, the dye in the backing fabric came out quite noticeably. Now, instead of the nice crisp navy blue, it’s sort of… stonewashed? I like to think my Mom was having a laugh at my expense, as I was having a panic attack in the middle of the laundromat. In truth, though, it was a little heartbreaking. Oh well – I guess it fits with the rustic look.


: (



Despite that last mishap, the package made it into the mail and will arrive one week before Christmas. So really, I suppose Murphy’s Law decided to hold off when it really counted.

I do intend for the focus here to remain firmly on knitting, but I think a little flexibility is in order when my attention turns (temporarily) towards other fiber arts.

Sentimental ones, in particular.



    • preita
    • Posted December 16, 2008 at 15:37
    • Permalink

    It’s so beautiful & lovely I’m sure that they will LOVE IT! I’ve experienced just one blue jean quilt in the past & it was the WARMEST quilt ever made :) Beautiful pictures :D

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted December 16, 2008 at 15:45
    • Permalink

    I can imagine it’s warm, it certainly is HEAVY! Thanks, I hope she loves it :)

  1. I love that picture of the snow and your christmas lights! So pretty!

    And that quilt is just lovely. Congrats on getting it done. :)

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted December 18, 2008 at 11:44
    • Permalink

    It’s crazy getting snow here… well, not crazy getting snow, but crazy that it’s stuck around! Very festive :)

    Just tracked the package and looks like they left a parcel card on her door today!

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