Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Mugunghwa Quilt

It's been a great delight meeting Sunny's parents, and such a wonderful support for Sunny having them here to ease her into motherhood. Perfect timing, too, arriving as they did just a few hours before little Alexanne made her entrance.

For the past 2 months Sunny's mum has run the house for her, doing all the cooking, cleaning and washing - a Korean tradition apparently - and we've been the fortunate recipients of many containers of delicious noodles, fish, sweet sesame nibbles, and other Korean delicacies, whenever we've visited, or they've come to us. They have been so generous and loving that I wanted to give them something to take home to remind them of their stay.

What else would I give them but a quilt?!

I decided to incorporate Australian wildflowers into the design - but after that my creative ideas dried up.

A couple of years ago, when I was going through an enthusiastic needleturn applique phase, I designed and made a "Rose of Sharon" medallion block, set it on point and surrounded it with a couple of borders - but after that my creative ideas dried up.

Do you see a trend emerging here? I'm such a good "starter", but not a great finisher!

As I was dithering about, Boak, the voice of reason, suggested that, since time was of the essence in the making of this quilt, perhaps I ought to use the already completed "Rose of Sharon" medallion as a starting point. I dismissed his helpful suggestion, preferring instead to let my fingers do the Googling whilst I researched Korean cultural sites for better ideas.

I should have listened in the first place for his suggestion turned out to be quite inspired - not that even he realised it at the time.

Did you know that the "Rose of Sharon", Mugunghwa, or hibiscus syriacus, is the national flower of South Korea?

Wow! I had found the starting point for my quilt, and it had been hanging on my design wall in front of my eyes all this time! My good friend Robbie kindly donated a handful of charm squares in Australian wildflower prints, I added several more, Gail spent a morning helping me pin it before I machine quilted it, and before you could say "Bob's your uncle" my Australian-Korean quilt came together.

I think Sunny's parents liked it - they were certainly excited when I gave it to them, and insisted on standing barefoot on the couch so I could take their photo with the quilt reaching to the floor.

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