Memory quilts are very special, and it was an honour to make one in memory of our friend Geoff. Geoff and his wife Pauline joined us on our South Island Odyssey caravan trip back in 2014. Little did we know as we travelled around the South Island together that he was so ill and it would only be a matter of time till it would all be over. I offered to make a memory quilt for Pauline last year and duly took possession of a bag full of tee-shirts, dress shirts, a work jumper, a long green scarf and various buttons and badges. What to do with it all, I pondered. After deciding on stars, I cut square motifs from tee shirts, found toning fabric for the star points and got sewing.
For the sashing I cut strips from a gold checked shirt, and purchased a lovely Kiwiana print of retro caravans for three of the borders. Pauline had asked that I used part of the long woolly soccer scarf from Plymouth UK as Geoff was born in Plymouth and came out to New Zealand as a child with his family. I used this as the bottom border. We met up with Pauline yesterday for lunch, and I got to hand the finished quilt over to the new owner.
Pauline a a little worried that she might become emotional and tearful when she undid the quilt. There is nothing wrong with that at all, and I got a little teary too. She looked at each block that I had made, and loved the caravan fabric I used, I’m please to say.
Each star showed part of Geoff’s interests. Such as the Wainuiomata Caravan Club, and the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association. They used to go sailing with their boat Obsession, so I made a star using the logo from the Lyall Bay Yacht Club. Lawn bowls was another interest, as was model railways and the Menz Shed. Geoff (and Pauline too) both served in the New Zealand Air Force, so I made a star using his insignia badges, and pinned his Returned Services Association badge underneath. Gold Air Force badges were also stitched on to the four corners of the sashing, and I added shirt buttons to the setting squares.
We enjoyed Geoff’s company and are so pleased that we shared a wonderful 3 month South Island holiday together. We remember getting together for a planning session before we set sail, talking about where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to see. Train rides featured heavily in this discussion, and we enjoyed several vintage train trips while we were away, the Weka Pass Railway and the Kingston Flyer trips both being rather memorable. I hope the quilt will give Pauline a little comfort and remind her of all the happy years they spent together. He is sadly missed.