Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top of the Mornin' To Ye!

To honor St. Patrick's Day, I'm sharing this classic Irish Chain quilt I made back in 1999. A former co-worker had married a man named Shannon O'Toole and embraced all things Irish. Their dogs were named Shamus and Guinness. And then along came their first child, a daughter they named Riley Margaret. Well, of course I would make little Riley an Irish Chain quilt.

I believe I already had the shamrock fabric although I may have bought it specifically for this, and added one of the early and perhaps all-time favorite fabrics purchased to build a quilting stash, a rich dark textured green. I used Hobbs polydown batting because I thought a baby quilt should be puffy and this polyester batt was better than the other puffy batts of that era. I was still pretty new to free motion quilting and nervous about adding the shamrock motif to the spaces between the chains. I vividly remember trying a technique I'd read about - cutting the motif out of freezer paper, ironing it to the quilt top and then quilting around the outside edge of the freezer paper. I don't remember for sure if I free motioned or defaulted to maneuvering around it with the feed dogs up, but I do remember that it worked, and there have been other times I've used this same trick when I didn't want to actually mark on the quilt top.

During my recent delving into Celtic mystic poetry and stories, I came across this blessing by St. Patrick himself, who we are honoring today. It struck me as the perfect way to start every day. May it bring you strength to meet and greet whatever comes your way.

The Blessing of the Elements
St. Patrick
I rise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

1 comment:

Sherrie Spangler said...

Happy St. Paddy's Day to you! Nice quilt, too.