Two college sophomores huddled under blankets at our desks, listening to Italian and art history.  We were so cold that we took turns holding a nalgene filled with boiling water.  I wish I still had the sketch she drew of a nalgene sitting in a pot accompanied by the question, “can you boil a nalgene?”

Clearly the cold and Italian and art was taking a toll on our brain functioning.

Conveniently, she was right handed and I, left, so we shared one pair of gloves–this is what friends do when living abroad in a convent.  Then, when the hand we were writing with became too numb, we would pass the nalgene, whose water had now become luke warm, back and forth.

This memory is one that I will not forgot shortly — it is accompanied by so many ridiculous others that Joan Bea’s momma and I made during our time in Orvieto, Italy while we were in college.  We almost missed our flight to Frankfurt, because we were, of course, discussing our grandiose plans for our time there.  I should add–and really, this could be an entire post–we lived in a small hill city, in a convent, and we had no internet.  We truly had no idea what we were about to experience as we chatted in the Chicago airport, waiting to board our flight.

When Rachael and I first became moms, I found myself always so encouraged by her intentional ease by which she parented.  She doesn’t sweat about the small stuff, but is ernest in seeking wisdom for the big.  She is one I love going to with embarrassing stories of my mom-days, because she will laugh and then say something that makes me feel somewhat normal once again.

When her second daughter, Joan Bea, arrived I knew I wanted to make something for her.  I had seen some quilts on pinterest — this one and these ones in particular!  I had a giant scrap of the same print!

I wanted something small.  Rachael and her husband, Joe, and their daughters, Lux and Joan, live in Boston.  She walks everywhere and inspires me to get out more.  I wanted something that would be too bulky for trips to the park. 

I wanted something feminine, but not frilly.  I love Rachael’s classic style and fashion forward eye.  I can always look to her for trends that are up and coming — she knows what those Europeans are scheming, I tell you. 

I wanted something that looked like art.   I’ve been playing with more piecing recently, but my heart still is happiest when I just “paint” with the fabrics, mixing and matching sizes and patterns.  

The leather label and the pink binding are two of my favorites aspects of the quilt — I love how it turned out.  What do you think?


{photo of Joan and her quilt — courtesy of Rachael}

 Isn’t Joan just the cutest?


the perfect leather bag.



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