Well, it's been over a year since we began collecting squares and wishes for Meili's quilt and the happy day has arrived. We have 100 squares! Thank you so much to those of you who have contributed. I realize that it is just one more thing that you had to add to your 'to do list' but we so appreciate it!
So, with Phase I (The Collection) behind us it is time to transition into Phase II(The Plan)! I probably could piece the top together myself if I were just going to put the squares together. I've done one before that turned out 'okay' but it was a rather stressful process for me. I have decided to do a 10 square x 10 square design with 1" black sashing (strips of material) between each of the squares to frame them and unify the quilt. I've also picked up a black and red 'fan' patterned material for a 4" border. There is too much that can go wrong here so I've decided to hire professionals to complete the task.
Jackie is my sw, boss and friend. Her mother-in-law, Betty, lives with her and is a quilting pro. She has agreed to piece the top together and bind the quilt! I have also found a lady across town who does long arm stitching. She will sandwich the top, batting and backing together and run a ladybug stitch throughout the whole thing.
I hope that Meili likes ladybugs because she will probably be surrounded by them by the time she comes home. Ladybugs are said to be good luck in the China Adoption community. Some say that this originated in China but I have my doubts. Either way, we are going with it! I've found a ladybug patterned flannel that will serve as the backing and in keeping with the theme I just found a scrapbook with a ladybug on the cover that looks very much like the quilt backing.
What I like most about Meili's quilt is that the entire thing will be stitched using red thread. If you are running in China adoption circles, then you already know why. If you're not, here's the 411. There is a Chinese legend concerning people who are destined to marry. The China adoption community has adopted (no pun intended) this legend and applied it to the children who are destined to join their families. It goes something like this:
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet.
The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break."
When I first came upon this, my first question was, 'If the thread is invisible, how do we know that it is red?' =) It does, however, sum up how we feel about Meili and our desire to have her join our family. It is amazing to me that in a house that is as full as ours, we can still sense that someone is missing. Since we have begun the adoption process, we have definitely felt the stretch and there have been tangles along the way but we know that the space in our home can only be filled by going to China and bringing our daughter home. So, red thread it is.
Now, onto Phase III (The Execution)! Be sure to check back for updates and pictures!