My Favourite Quilt: Michael’s “Sky at Night”

I have just discovered something very cool… The Blogger’s Quilt Festival! This is a huge linky party and there are prizes and everything – I am in heaven! I am going to join! It runs from May 18th to June 1st. Check it out!

Amy's Creative Side
The rules say that I have to tell the story of my favourite quilt, and you know me – that won’t be difficult at all!
My favourite quilt is not my best quilt by a long shot. In fact, my favourite quilt happens to be the first quilt I ever made.
It has crooked seams and the corners don’t match very well, and that’s just the way I like it. It’s perfect to me because of the story it tells.
045In 1995 when my son was 10 years old, he had a friend whose mother owned a quilt shop. In fact, the quilt shop was attached to her house, and when I would drop Michael off to play at Seb’s house I would go in and browse through the beautiful bolts of fabrics and quilting books. Seb’s mother, Dawn, urged me to sign up for a class and so I signed up to make my very first quilt ever: a fence rail quilt for Michael’s bed.
017I couldn’t believe how involved he got in the making of it. He insisted on going with me to choose the fabric. While I was busy looking for blues and greys and other “boy” fabrics, he was busy picking out his own colours.
007He chose dark navy blue with gold stars, red with black line-drawn jungle animals, gold with black jungle-like veins, a green leaf print, and a stripy black-on-black for the background. The other ladies in the shop that day were very amused and tried to persuade him that the colours would not work together. But he insisted, and so that’s what we purchased.
024When I got into the class with my fabric, I sure got a lot of ribbing from the ladies. However, as the quilt started coming together, everyone admitted that the colours actually DID work very well together. Michael’s quilt ended up being the class favourite with it’s striking and bold colours. Looking back, I don’t think the era of modern quilts had really gotten started the way it is now. I think Michael was ahead of his time. Pretty good for a 10-year-old!
037I remember also being ribbed about my sewing machine. While all the other machines were purring quietly away, my old workhorse sounded like a train clattering over the tracks! Actually, that’s still my sewing machine, and while it would be lovely to have a new one that hums instead of clanks, it has taken me a long way and I feel kind of faithful to it.
When the top was finished, I decided to hand quilt it. I bought a template and hand quilted every single night for months! I have also never wavered from that, either. All of my quilts since then have been either hand quilted or hand tied.
Michael was so impatient for me to finish! I remember him keeping tabs on my progress. I remember how excited he was when it was done.
I remember that he used to come out of his room in the mornings in his PJs with the quilt wrapped around his shoulders.
I remember him eating his cereal with the quilt over his shoulders.
I remember him laying on the quilt and then rolling himself up in it on the living room floor.
I remember him snuggling in it with a book.
I remember us snuggling up in it together.
It was on his bed every night. Sometimes top-side up and sometimes backing-side up.
Here’s an old picture I found of it and scanned. My, how bright it was when it was new!
And here is a picture I found of him in bed with it. It’s topside-down in this picture, so you can see the backing:
When the quilt was finished, Michael named it “Sky at Night” and I embroiderd it onto the corner.  That quilt has had a hard life. After many washings, the navy has faded to a pale denim colour and the stars are completely gone. I pulled it out of the closet and took some photos this morning.
When he grew up and moved away from home, I tried to send the quilt with him, but he asked me to keep it here for him instead. He was afraid it would get lost or ruined. But he’s grown now, so someday soon I’ll be packing it up and handing it over where it belongs. Meanwhile, it’s  here…holding our memories safe.


  1. Just getting caught up, since I did no blog reading while I was away. I love this story, Nita! It’s amazing how those dark central squares have become such a different colour from the starry sky fabric, when they seem to have started out in such similar tones.

    (Also, Michael is adorable as a 10-year-old!)

  2. Sitting on the sofa with two faded well used quilts, I can relate to this story. After all, that is what they are for. (Last visit to the states I replaced worn fabric in a grandson’s quilt)!

  3. I never dreamed I’d need tissues while reading your story. Remembering your son in such a sweet story was so very touching. I love the story of quilts. So very sweet. April @ Little Mama Hen

  4. Such a great story, Nita. I remember when you started that quilt but I think I moved before I saw the finished product. I have gone nowhere with my quilting. I am proud of my friend for following through. Love,

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