Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Pirate's Tale

Once there was a quilter who fell in love with a piece of soft flannel with drawings of cute little boy pirates on it.  She bought it.  Later she found a colorful cotton which was decorated with cute (i.e, non scary) adult pirates. Her plan was to make a little quilt for her son who was then three years old and had dressed as a pirate for his first Halloween trick-or-treating.  

The son:

The fabric: 

Being a busy working mom, the quilter didn't find time to work on the quilt.  But she did find time to acquire more pirate fabric, this one with ships, and some nice blue fabric that coordinated with all the three pieces.   Then life got busy again and the project sat untouched.  

Eventually the quilter's son grew older and didn't want or need a pirate quilt.  

She thought of giving the project away for someone else to finish but each time she tried to pack it up and move it out of the house she thought of her little three-year-old boy and his first Halloween.  He had knocked on one door, received a lollipop and was so astounded and happy that he stopped dead in his tracks, unwrapped the treat, and leisurely sucked on it for the next five minutes until Mom said, "Paul, you'll get more candy if you knock on a few more doors."   

The Halloween memory (yes, that's a spider hat Mom's wearing):

Many years passed and one day the quilter was looking for unfinished projects to take on a quilting retreat.  She ran across the little collection of pirate fabrics.  Looking through her stash of fabrics, she added some fish fabric and seagull fabric and decided to finally make the quilt.  

But since her son was now fifteen, she would give the quilt to the Quilts for Kids program which would pass it along to a young child undergoing an extended stay in a Colorado hospital.

At the retreat she made a simple design to feature the pirate fabrics; five rows of pirate blocks surrounded by blue sky and swimming fish.  Around these she added borders of flying seagulls. The flannel would go on the back of the quilt, offering the child a nice cuddly back to snuggle in.  Satisfied, she packed up the quilt top and worked on other projects.  

But during the night she awoke and suddenly realized that it was wrong to have seagulls at the bottom of the quilt, since they would be underneath the pirates.  There should be water underneath the seagulls, not water and fish.  So the next morning she took off the bottom row of seagulls and replaced it with a border of fanciful fish swimming in green water.   Satisfied, she again packed up the quilt top up and worked on other projects.  

On the way home from the retreat the quilter stopped at a local fabric store where she found the perfect piece of fabric for the back of the quilt; a soft flannel covered with deep sea creatures.  It looked great with the other flannel fabric so she decide to use both fabrics on the back.  

But as she worked with the flannels she realized that fabric showing fish in the green water at the bottom of the quilt wasn't right.  The deep parts of the ocean are inky blue or black, not green.  So she took off the green border and replaced it with the new deep water flannel border.  

Whew!  All this for a quilt that would be owned by a little boy? Snuggling in a hospital bed or chair with the quilt, he wouldn't even notice whether the fish were at the top or bottom of the quilt, or whether the water was blue or green. 

Well, no matter, the quilter would know.   And now she was very satisfied.  

And so were the pirates.


  1. awe. Great fabrics too!

  2. What a great story. It reads like that CBS Sunday Morning show.


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