Sunday, August 2, 2009

Welcome to Hyacinths for the Soul and my very first post!

Welcome to Metamorphosis Monday with our hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch, and a big "Thank you, Susan!" for all your help and encouragement. Today is my first post, so this in itself is a metamorphosis of sorts. I've been a follower of several blogs, and today I'm making the leap to write a post on my very own blog page, Hyacinths For The Soul. As a 30+ year veteran teacher of young children, I've witnessed many wonderful "metamorphosis moments" of first learning. I like the idea of sharing the transformations that weave in and out of one's life.

One person's trash is another's treasure... not many men would rescue boxes of fabric that were on their way to a dumpster, but fortunately for me I have a friend who knows of my appreciation of textiles and delivered these to my doorstep.

Swatches of the very finest Italian wool! My friend brought me boxes and boxes of sample books that a local men's custom clothing shop was discarding because they were the previous year's fabric collection. What a treasure trove!

Just look at these luscious textiles! They are as soft and smooth as butter on a warm day.

Wouldn't you adore a new outfit made of any of these? The choices are endless.

I need new winter slacks. I'll take three in these colors. What would be your choice?

I admit the boxes lingered among my fabric stash for some time before inspiration struck. I didn't have yards and yards of these luscious fabrics, and after all, patchwork garments hadn't been in vogue since the 1970s. You do remember the patchwork craze of the Hippie Era? And yes, I really did wear this skirt!

Eventually the swatches became the basis for a new collaborative project with my friend, Kay, who I met in the early 1980s when we were professional colleagues. We connected instantly and soon discovered that we shared an abundance of interests. We became soul mates! Today we live 2000 miles apart, but meet yearly either at her home, my home, or a vacation spot. Our yearly visits have spawned collaborations of numerous creative endeavors.

We'd earlier completed a pair of full size crazy quilts (topic for a future blog post), and wanted our next project to be a quilt for each of our husbands. The Italian wools would lend a masculine feel. To pay tribute to the original intent of the fabrics, we decided on the bow tie, a quilt block pattern from the late 1800s.

The metamorphosis didn't evolve quickly. The task to measure, cut, and piece a hundred of these 4" squares proved a daunting task. Then reality set in. Two hundred squares would only produce one lap quilt. We needed a pair! Ingenuity persevered. We would simply alternate solid squares with the bow ties.

After several cross country flights and hours of stitches made by two hearts and two pairs of loving hands . . .

A pair of "Friendship Bow Tie" quilts appeared! Friendship quilts because most of the work on the pair was completed by two friends working side by side during our annual visits.

Today, Kay (at right) and I each have one of these quilts in our homes. They keep our napping husbands warm and cozy on winter afternoons and reflect the creative spirit of two friends across the miles. This summer we will vacation together at the seashore, eager to plot our next shared endeavor.

Each "Friendship Bow Tie" is also a charm quilt, as no two identical fabrics are repeated within either quilt. . . and this one was made for my Prince Charming!

Thank you for stopping by. Please comment below, and please come back!


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Wow, Sarah...this is such a wonderful first post! This makes me wish I knew how to quilt. I know your Prince Charming must love his new quilt. :-) How smart of you to take something being tossed out and create something so useful and beautiful!
    Happy Met Monday!

  2. wow happy met monday, this is wonderful, love how it turned out, I can only imagine the work involved as I just finished my first ever quilt this week...


  3. How sweet Sarah!! I love quilts and it is so awesome that you and your friend quilted this together. Amazing. I wish I knew how to quilt!

  4. What a great Met Monday. A Wonderful story.

    Welcome to the Land of Blog -- it's a great place and there are so many nice people here.

    I'll visit often.

  5. That is amazing I love it, what a treasure indeed!



  6. Now that was creative. A woman of my own heart! Love how you used those tiny scraps.

  7. Goodness, that is so creative ! I'm going to send the link to a friend who teaches patchwork.
    Inspiring first post....

  8. Hi Sarah, how splendid to have a friend to work with on such a wonderful project! The quilt came out fabulous!

    Thanks for sharing!


  9. Hello !
    I love what you did, You Go Girl ! I love using all scraps to make quilts !
    Hugs, Kammy

  10. Lovely quilt, just my sort of thing.
    (Gay's friend who teaches patchwork)

  11. Wonderful post! I love not only the quilt but the story of the two friends who made it together. Fabulous!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  12. OH lucky YOU! I had a wool quilt out of the same kind of swatches. My husband loves the wool quilt and it is so warm in the winter.

    Love the Bowtie pattern, one of my all time favorites!

  13. How clever and beautiful this quilt is!
    Enjoyed visiting your post today on Met Monday. I'm new at this.
    Blessings to you from Kansas,

  14. They are beautiful! I know how much love goes into the making of quilts, as I have many around my home I made. I also did some crazy quilting with the embroidery and beads and such. So much fun; just let your imagination go wild!

  15. Oh your skirt made me laugh! I love what you did with the fabric samples.

  16. wow, the wool swatches are a great find, but what you did with them in incredible!

  17. Hi Sarah! What a wonderful idea for a very special masculine quilt! I know both of the hubbies are enjoying them! So unique! I come from a family of mountain women who quilt, but unfortunately, my mom chose not to continue the tradition. Therefore, I never learned. :-( I keep telling yself I need to learn and start the tradition going again! Thanks for the inspiration! Great first post! Welcome!...hugs...Debbie

  18. Wow! This is what I call a Labor of Love! I can imagine how much work was involved in this but I know doing it with a friend made it fun and easier. It came out amazing! Welcome to Blogland, Sarah!...Christine

  19. Hi Sarah, welcome to Metamorphosis Monday and the wonderful world of blogging!

    I love this quilt and your story. What a wonderful friend you have and now a wonderful memory quilt. It's beautiful!

  20. So I want one of those quilts!

    This story reminds me of my mother and her work sewing dresses and such for her friends and clients.

    The UPS man delivered boxes of these fabric swatches to our house from "Leiters Fabrics" and people would come to our house to sift through all of them to find the fabric they wanted for their clothes. Once they made their choices, my mom would place orders and the UPS guy would show up a few days later with the yardage.

    Great memories...

  21. This has GOT to be the ultimate recycling project x2!! You & Kay did a fantastic job of creating true heirlooms for your husbands to snuggle under. "Wrapped in Love"
    Well done!



Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.