Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Quilt of Shawls: World Fabrics Unite!

Our daughter had an amazing gap year last year, where she participated in a program called Kivunim. They visited about 8 countries during the year, studying about each before their on-site trips. Of course she wanted to commemorate this huge, rich experience in a significant way. Packing space and budget were both tight, so she came up with a great idea. In each country she shopped for a shawl that captured something of the experience. Most of the shawls were not created in the country itself, so she chose by color and pattern. It focused her adventure in each country and they were easily transportable. Her friends all got in on the decision making process, as well, so it was generally a really fun goal, shopping for that perfect shawl. Gradually the idea of making a patchwork quilt of them became the plan.
She located Debbie McNeill, a talented seamstress, and has just picked up a quilt pieced together with the shawls. It is stunning! The seamstress backed the shawls on a plain sheet for reinforcement, and then backed the whole quilt with a cozy microfleece blanket, so while technically it is a duvet cover, it serves as a coverlet all by itself, and will be a fabulous heirloom of this remarkable experience.
The shawls cost very little, so the whole project was accomplished for under $250. She bought little else on any of these trips, so it was a very wise and frugal strategy, avoiding the temptation of scooping up a lot of little bargains that wouldn't have added up to anything meaningful like this has.
An Indian embroidery is the center panel, correctly reflecting the trip to India as the most remarkable of their journeys.
This is an investment that will yield a life-time of pleasure. I am so excited that she figured out such a creative way to document the experience. Of course she has a ton of pictures, but this is so much more tangible. Economists teach that experience brings more happiness than material items and counsel that mementos that remind you of a happy experience are a good investment; this quilt is just such a fusion of the experiential and the material.

1 comment:

Stephanie Appleton said...

That is such a wonderful (and lasting)idea! Gorgeous!