My chalk finally got here, and that’s exciting and all, but I’m in a bragging mood this afternoon. Today I gave my brother Evan his crazy sampler quilt. I’ve been working on and off on this for almost eight years now! It was intended as a leaving-home quilt for his eighteenth birthday, but it got bigger and crazier and more complicated and eventually was stashed away in frustration. I took it back up again six months ago.

It’s a mess: strange silk and polyester and velveteen mixes in the crazy section, appliqué that needed a dose of fray-stoppa, edges that didn’t match, and I learned to quilt on it but didn’t use a hoop! But hey – I love that it’s done, I love that he loves it, I’m very proud. It’s garden-themed, without too much Girly in it; lots of little bugs and plants everywhere. The fact that Evan pre-18 was concerned about Girly meant that I had to be creative with the embroidery and make my own designs: a great way to learn. The blocks have personal meanings (Annie’s Choice, Sunny Lanes, etc), and my mum and Grandma made a block each for it. What more could a (no longer little) boy want?