Baba and Dido's Garden

It was a whirlwind quilting weekend, a retreat of sorts at my house. My sister and sister-in-law came down to work on a quilt for my Dad. After what seemed like 48 straight hours of quilting, interrupted only by babies needing Mama and not Daddy/Uncle, we finished this quilt top.

Inspired entirely by the garden/yard at my Baba and Dido's house in Hafford, Saskatchewan, this quilt is a tribute to that memorable part of our lives spent there. Even if we hated it as kids it is such a strong part of our identity. It seemed only fitting to make sure our Dad knew that since this was also his place.

My sister came to the table not having sewn in decades, but my sister-in-law is also a quilter (my evil influence). When we started talking about what design direction we wanted to go in it was a very short discussion. Independently of each other we came up with the exact same concept. So we quickly started pulling fabric, books, and sketching.

Before long we were sewing and my house was taken over by strips and scraps, rulers, machines, coffee, cheese, and loads of cookies. There was only one moment where we had to stop sewing, my sister and I sharing tears of laughter over a silly childhood story. We were three tired Mamas getting a break to sew - when all we really wanted to do was sleep. It is the natural instinct when someone else is watching the kids.
The entire project took every corner of my small house. My stash was spread around the living room for easy access. We used both The Monster's and our bed for layout, in addition to the living room floor when all babies where sleeping. My dining room became a literal sweatshop. In the midst of all these we had three kids - mine and my nephew.  Hubby was AWESOME, taking them all to the park and zoo to keep them out of our hair. It didn't stop the girls from sitting on our laps to help us sew and snip threads. Nor did it stop my nephew from being so damn cute.

Probably the most important part of this quilt is the garden. My Baba had an enormous garden. Seriously, a home garden to make anyone jealous. It was meticulously tended by hand. Every day in the summer you would see her stooped over weeding, watering, and picking. When we came to visit we had the watering duties, and when she wasn't looking we snuck strawberries. Then, every fall, the family loaded up to help with harvest. This entailed two vehicles so we could bring home the bounty.  And every year my mom would exclaim, "What am I going to do with a dozen heads of cabbage?!

We briefly debated paper piecing the garden, a la Ruth McDowell. But of the three of us I am the only one who knows how to paper piece. So Tash recommended we improvise things - she did learn from me after all! So we grabbed fabric and scissors and started sewing our garden.

The only thing we had to go on was our memories and the start of the house. You see, I've had this idea in my head for at least 5 years now, if not longer. I started one day then never got anywhere. I guess it just took the right motivation, many hands, and loads of work. The quilt is gone to Edmonton for backing and basting. I will get it back for quilting in a week or two. Can't wait!
(PS Mom, if you read this, DON'T TELL DAD!)