I have fond memories of my childhood bed; the cocoon of flannelette sheets and the weighty warmth of hospital-style waffle blankets. My mum would religiously make me a hot water bottle in the winter and I’d wrap my sock-clad feet around it, wishing its warmth to return come the early hours.
I want to create the same cosiness and warmth for my own children so when Poet was born I decided that I’d buy her a custom-made quilt for her first Christmas. I wanted to mark the occasion with a bespoke gift made with love; something she would find comfort in from babyhood to her teenage years. That’s a lot of expectation for a collage of fabric scraps, isn’t it?
Four years on I can confidently say that it was one of the best gifts I have ever bought her. We have spent many hours looking at all the pictures on the fabric and tracing our fingers over the stitching, it’s provided that much-needed extra layer on cold nights and perhaps, most importantly, it has been the ultimate comfort blanket when sniffles and fevers have taken hold.
I knew before Percy was born that a quilt would be the perfect first birthday gift so late last year I contacted Kathryn from Maggie & Sparrow and sent her my preferred colour palette which, if I’m honest, was a little up in the air. I’m terrible at making decisions when it comes to big projects (I’d be hopeless if we were ever to design and build our own house) so I mentioned something about sea-inspired colours – sage, blue, navy, teal, sand – and I also asked for some earthy tones – mustard, rust, ochre. The result is everything I didn’t know I wanted which proves that Kathryn is both a mind reader and an expert quilter.
And then I realised that Che didn’t have a quilt and he was well past his first birthday. And so we made it a special “just because” gift and he and I talked about colours and patterns and pictures. He asked for navy and yellow, some stars and stripes. I sent Kathryn an off-cut from a teepee fabric I bough years ago from Melissa Wastney as well as the fabric envelopes from a recent Fictional Objects sheet purchase. The quilt arrived last week, wrapped in brown paper and aptly tied with string. It is bold and grand, perfect for my avid reader who likes to cuddle up with a novel on a daily basis. And so right for this time in his life as he ventures from childhood into the tween years.
It may be far-fetched but if ever there was a fire, I’d grab these quilts if I had the chance. There is a part of me that envisions them on teenage beds and perhaps on the armchair when the kids have left the nest. And perhaps, just perhaps, they’ll be treasured long enough so that they can be wrapped across newborns of the next generation. My hopes may be high but they’re valid, I think.
You can see some of Kathryn’s most recent quilts on instagram.