Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Stella Joy

It seems like the day has been shorten by hours rather by minutes.  I am not sure how time fleet away from my clock, but it did! I feel slightly uncertain about sharing this quilt every time when I am in front of the computer. When I take a pause of my writing, I ended up erase all. So, today I am going to take a time ship down to the memory lane again and wondered if you'd join me for this birthday quilt that I made for S' 11th birthday...

Every year right around this time of the year, I've always careful paying attention to the the conversation between S and I. I rarely ask her "what do you want for your birthday quilt?" I tried to listen to her words or maybe some moments that we shared in our drive to music classes, times at home or just something that she is into. You know I take it in my head and think how could I transferred something like that into a quilt. Um...

We have always loving and wowing the Fall season's sunset here in the Midwest. You need to see it before you believed in my words. Around late 6p.m. the sky turns into the warm yellow, orange, then at the far end of the sky is slightly blue. By 7p.m., you see merely bit of orange, yellow, and then the sky is almost in a shade of dark blue and maybe a bit of turquoise/orange. We talked so much about the pretty of sunset and somehow one night; it clicked into my head. The 11th birthday idea landed my head and you know I was overly excited because birthday month were a few month away!

After collected, cut, and sorted the prints for the birthday quilt, I aimed to finish the birthday quilt in 2 weeks, but it actually took me 11 months to finish and your probably didn't know that I almost walked away from making this birthday quilt.  S and I had a serious conflicts right after her birthday. I had no idea how she started behaved difficultly for me or maybe I was not paying closer attention on the changes that she made during the time? I had to step away from this quilt making and was so mad at myself and on top of my head was all about how could I fix this. I didn't want to have any regrets and it was the right decision to leave it along and come back later.

Our trip helped out and relax our relationship! The intense and the anger between us have quit melt down after a summer long time together with families and of course lots Lucky time. We talked about the right choices of how we live, how we appreciate each other, how we want to be respect and wish others do so, and how we gain trust from someone we love. Maybe there were moments that she can't wait to be so growing up and I on the other hand was holding that tied and wasn't ready for it.

Slowly we learned to slow down, spend time together and listen to each others'  words, not just hear the words from our own mouth, but listen to each other!  We started some weekend activities, somewhere we could walk around and enjoy! It was hard to start the early weekend walk, but we are really loving it now!  S talks more than I do now and most of the time I listen close up what she is trying to tell me; there are worries, maybe unfairness, and giggle moments at school.  I often shared a bit of my childhood schooling time with her and we compared how my days and hers together! She loves my talks sometimes; as long is not picking up your room; collect your books from the floor,etc.

I made a self-commitment after the summer trips;  finish up the birthday quilt was the priority. I tried work on four 36 patchwork blocks a day then needed 56 in total. You know, it felt mission impossible!  It was hard to finish because my quilt math wrong! I had intended to make a throw size quilt, but ended up to a closed queen-size , but I will be so honest with you. I actully am so glad that I got bad math skill for this quilt. It will be perfect for a Full-size mattress that S will be getting next year! win-win?! 

It seems like I am no longer produce quilts in a fast speed. The slow and steady making time have really been working out so much better than trying to jump right in and finish up in no time.  I preferred iron open seams for each blocks and preferred spend 2 hours the most on one quilt, but likely more hours than that have spent.

When all the blocks sewn together and pressed into a quilt top, I was so fulfilled! Indeed, there were lots of my mind went with this quilt the same time I made this quilt. It feels like this promise didn't break down, but slightly delay. It always feels that it is the best gift I could make for S. I know it is not true, but somehow it always does to me. My heart sings when the gifting time comes closer!

However, it gets harder to make the quilt for S now.  She will be happy with any thing I made for her, but see I always want to be different from the last one and surprise her! You will see me getting excited very soon with the 12th birthday quilt!  I love seeing each year the birthday quilt coming together! There will always be some interruptions for making the quilt on time, but it will always turns out fine to the end.

For the quilt backing, it was simply paper-pieced with S' name and middle name and the year. It turns out really simple and is so S! Perhaps a bit skylight looks from my original sketch only I switched the dark backing colors to low value prints.  There were near 10 yards of fabric for the backing! I ordered the 108"wide print, which saved a bit cost on the backing.

I had wished to send this quilt for long-arm quilting, but it always feels so great to finish the quilt from the beginning to the end by myself. It was quilted by my little machine and took a good two days (5 hours each day). The quilting pattern was puzzle, which is nothing fancy, but it work out well.

To accompany the quilt, I made two pillowcases. I know I had to spoiled S this year! It seems just so approirate to have something newish for her! You know that I have had spilled the bean out when the quilt top was done and S was already giggled about this quilt. When the day, I hung the quilt on the wall for photo shooting and ready to gift to S, I pictured that jumping so hard!  She did jump so hard in her room and hugged me so tied and told me, "Mommy you made my room to a blue room! I finally have a blue room!" You know that moment all that struggles and challenges that I have had were just really nothing! Then she talked about the new birthday quilt for next few weeks and show it to her cousins via Skype and felt proud of the quilt. She keeps telling me that I am the BEST mom in the whole wide world that afternoon. I do hope the Best Mom stays very a long time, no just one afternoon length time!

There will always time that we get so mad at each other, but it is reality of our life surround from each other. We disagreed from each other and will also learn from each other small to big! These time will always be challenging, but it will bring the goodness indeed! Oh.. motherhood is something that I learn from the day one that S arrived! and....

It is always,  priceless!

birthday quilts from


Hope soon, I'll be adding up 2016 on this list...



  1. It's a beautiful quilt. She's very lucky to have you as her mum - for lots of reasons. Well done on coming out the other side of the issues.

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful quilt. Love it!! Thinking of all of the work involved and the size of it. Wow - really special. I can relate to the mom and daughter issues :)! We have a very close relationship now, but when in their teens, I sometimes despaired too. Those early walks will leave special memories for sure!

  3. Love it!!! Your quilts for your daughter are a treasure. As you continue being mom and allowing her to grow, you grow. I have three adult daughters and even still there days when I wonder... oh well, I loved my mom and we had those times too! Haha I remember mama having those times with my granny ;o) so life goes! Congrats on working it all out! Beautiful daughter, relationship, and quilt.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your life Chase. Motherhood is an ever expanding learning process no matter how old your children are. One day at a time. Just like building a quilt. One block at a time. You have built a lovely story for us to follow. Once again, thank you for sharing and happy birthday to Stella.

  5. its a beautiful quilt, I didn't realize that big when I saw on IG the other days. Happy birthday, Stella .. I know your mom loves you so much and you do love her too ... as like mom say, being mom is not easy as kid will say the same .. being kid is not always easy too ... at the end of the day, we just want hugs each other more... :) love you guys

  6. Beautiful beautiful quilt and so very heartwarming, lovely post. Slow & steady, you are building a wonderful foundation of memories & tradition. Happy Birthday Stella!

  7. Chase it's beautiful! And so grown up for S! Happy Birthday S! Your mama is indeed the best mama!

  8. Your quilt for S is amazing and beautiful. So much love and care! Mom/ Daughter relationships are the best, even with the highs and lows. You are both so fortunate to have each other! Happy Birthday wishes to your Stella.🎂🎈🎈🎈👑

  9. Well! The question marks at the end if my comment were suppose to be a cake, balloons and a princess crown! Hope they show up on your screen!

  10. Well! The question marks at the end if my comment were suppose to be a cake, balloons and a princess crown! Hope they show up on your screen!

  11. Gorgeous quilt for a very lucky, gorgeous young lady. I love the idea of a sunset as we love to watch them too x

  12. What a wonderful quilt! your daughter is super lucky!

  13. Chase..what a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs. It is so hard as a mom to go through the down times, but fortunately they usually are followed by the 'ups'!! Stella is so lucky to have a mom who cares so much and puts so much love and thought into her birthday quilts. They are all stunning!!

  14. This quilt is very very beautiful! Wat a lucky girl!

  15. Oh wow! That is exactly what I said to myself, out loud, when I saw this year's birthday quilt! Awesome job and beautiful quilt! Happy birthday Stella!

  16. Belated Happy Birthday to your lovely Stella, Chase! Wow. She's 11?! How fast the years go! Your love for her shines out of this special mama made quilt - it is so very beautiful and I love the story behind it's making. So moving. Each of her birthday quilts are like time capsules and a loving celebration for each year. I admire the relationship between the two of you and how you both are growing and changing with each passing year. So beautiful. Your words resonate with me, even though I do not have a daughter, but two wonderful sons and I can say that although motherhood has so many challenges, the rewards far outweigh the struggles - you and Stella are blessed to have each other. Love to you both!


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