poetry and prose about place

making November warm #2

with 4 comments

From my childhood, I have considered November ‘the bleak month.’ The days are cold, without the mollifying effect of snow. Trees have lost their leaves and leaves on the ground have lost their colour. Days are short and nights are long. Christmas seems so far away.


As an adult, I have battled ‘bleak November’ in various ways. #1 is to spend time with family and friends. #2 is to turn my creative impulses to sewing and making quilts, always a warming activity.


I am not an expert seamstress by any definition. My stitches are long and uneven and my quilts are usually too short, rarely reaching from head to toe. But I love fabric designs and colours, and I love the feel of various fabrics.


One of the quilts I grew up with was a butterfly quilt, made by my maternal grandmother. Somehow I acquired a couple of extra butterfly blocks she made. Perhaps she was intending to make another butterfly quilt. Her stitches are small and even, the envy of any serious quilter. The blocks are at least 65 years old, probably more.


a block prepared by my grandmother, for a butterfly quilt


When I was going to yard sales regularly, I happened across three more butterfly panels and some cut-out butterflies, ready for the needle. Two of these blocks were not as well executed as those of my grandmother; one was very well done and quite charming (see the yellow block, below). Together they suggested a finished quilt.


one of the blocks I found at a yard sale


This fall I have finished appliquéing the cut-out butterflies to a top for the quilt. Rather than prepare blocks, I scattered them across a background of tiny blue flowers. Side by side, my appliquéd butterfly and one of my grandmother’s show you what a poor seamstress I really am.


a butterfly outlined by me in blanket stitch … the tip of one of my grandmother’s butterflies is in the upper right hand corner


However, I finished the quilt top and in the first week of November, I have added the batt and lower side of the quilt. Last night I finished binding the quilt.


the finished quilt with butterflies by three seamstresses: my grandmother, an unknown woman (yellow) and me


I often make my quilts for someone I know or for a particular room in my house. This quilt is for me. I will use it all winter to keep the chills away and make my corner of the couch a little cosier. Be gone, ‘bleak November!’


the back of my butterfly quilt is done in long strips of fabric


All my best wishes

for a cosy winter,


Written by jane tims

November 14, 2022 at 7:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Oh, I love everything about this post and the finished quilt, Jane Beautiful design. I don’t usually start my quilting projects until about this time of year. I guess I’d better begin thinking about it!


    Jane Fritz

    November 14, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    • Thanks. The quilt is very warm and just fits my corner of the couch. I love starting a new project, picking out the fabrics, etc. Have fun with your project!

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      November 14, 2022 at 10:24 pm

  2. Such a “warming” story Jane. A lovely read before I start my day. Thank you.


    Debby Peck

    November 14, 2022 at 7:04 am

    • Thanks Debby. Now my evenings will be warmer and I think of my grandmother working on the butterfly block, never dreaming it would be such a gift to me.


      jane tims

      November 14, 2022 at 9:59 am

I'd love to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: