I started making this quilt last year after I read this story . Already I had been making it in my mind, thinking of the fabrics that I had, the colours that I wanted to add and the design that would suit best, and after making a tiny bassinet quilt for my own babe I set about making this one. I’ve named it Ice Cream at the Park because the colours remind me of ice cream (not sure why – I don’t think I have ever eaten blue ice cream) and subsequently I have noticed that in the patterned fabric there are indeed some images of an ice cream cart.
I contacted my local member hoping that he’d be able to obtain a delivery address for Latifa, it intended recipient, who is an asylum seeker in indefinite detention. I can’t fathom what that must be like, not to know a date in the future when you’d be free to take your children for an ice cream at a local park – a simple pleasure that I, winner in the geographical birth lottery, take for granted. I was so pleasantly surprised that he (or a staff member) got back to me within twenty-four hours with contact and delivery details. My own politics being on the left of things it is unlikely that I would ever vote for him, but it is nice to know that he’s working for me all the same. Actually he seems like a pretty good bloke, bit of a thing for polo shirts but I can forgive him that.
It took me a while to decide how to label this quilt. In many ways I think this has been the great hold up in getting it finished – that and raising four small children of my own. In the end I decided on “Sally Made” because that is was I have put on the two of the four other quilts I have made (the other two have been “Mama made” since they were destined for my own children) and then added “for Latifa’s baby, Farus, Australia 2013”. I searched and searched through newspaper articles looking for the baby’s name. The receptionist at the detention centre couldn’t pass on any details about the baby or Latifa due to privacy reasons – that by the way I totally respect. Hope the journalist got bub’s name right. Even though I didn’t finish the quilt until this weekend I went with “Australia 2013” because this is where and when baby was born, and to me that is very important to document.
I’m so thrilled with how it has turned out. I really really love it. I am pleased too about this because it is hard for me to part with it. I could easily have saved it for my own babe and enjoyed it. Knowing that I would have it for myself make it feel like a better gift. I’ve sewn all my hope and dreams for a safe and prosperous future into this quilt. I know it is such a small gesture but as my eldest son recently reminded me as I dragged him around Spotlight starving one afternoon directly after school pick-up to get more fabric for the binding “every small gesture counts”. I was super chuffed and proud of him for these words. He and his sister were about to totally crack it and have a meltdown that afternoon (I’d forgotten to pack any snacks which was my bad) but when I explain who we were shopping for they really pulled it all together and were passionate about getting the fabric and allowing me the time to get the binding on. The entire family celebrated its completion, we all feel that we’ve put a little bit of ourselves into it.
Today it is in the post and on its way…
Ice Cream in the Park Quilt
1005mm x 1320mm x (39½” x 52”)
cotton printed fabric from stash + cotton solids from Spotlight
grey solid for sashing, binding and backing
100% cotton batting
in the ditch machine quilting