Totally Tulips Quilt - A Farewell Gift and a great Stash Buster

Totally Tulips quilt


Dubai is full of expatriates – approximately 85% of the population is from abroad. Which means while great friends are found, very often they also have to leave to return to their home country or their next destination. Nearly 2 years ago - 4 quilters became true friends.

Early in 2020 year we found out that our dear friend Nette would be returning to Australia in June. So the other three of us got together and forged a plan to make a quilt as a farewell gift. We started this project in mid-February 2020. Our original thought was that it would be a team project, meeting regularly to swap blocks and stitch different stages of the project together.

We decided to do the Totally Tulips quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Company. We also wanted to share a little part of us with Nette, so we decided to do a stash buster project, using fabrics we thought we true to each of our style of quilting. The project has big blocks, which meant it showed off the prints really well.

Never did we imagine a pandemic. So like the rest of the world, we were faced with quarantine, self-isolation, home-schooling, home-office and safety restrictions to move through the city. We could share the load and stitch up our share of blocks no problem. We found a way to drop off blocks and fabrics while on our way for essential groceries – leaving them at the front doors. We even had quilting design options laid out in the back of one of the cars, while the owner stayed inside the house and talked through the options from her window.

Then suddenly, in May we found out that Nette’s moving boxes were going in 4 days! Opps we still were in safety restrictions and we still had the border and binding to do. With the deadline approaching for her departure, we also had to figure out a way to gift it to Nette. So we planned a Zoom call for the Saturday morning.

Now to put the timeline in perspective – the Totally Tulips quilt is quite big, 89”x90” so it is a decent size to try and complete. Always up for a challenge, I assured my friends with then less than 24 hours to go I would have it done! I woke up at 5 am and started. By 4 pm, I had finished the borders and I was up to stitching the binding down. I am not particularly fast at this but was determined to hand-stitch it down, my favourite method. By 10 pm I was finished. With a sigh of relief, we would be ready for the zoom gifting the next morning.

So while parked outside her building, I started the zoom call. The 4 of us were on – doing our normal chatter – she had no idea, until we asked her husband to come outside so I could give him the parcel. He kindly obliged, like so many quilting husbands, he dashed downstairs, and quickly run back up. There he was back in their apartment with the parcel.

As she opened the quilt – there were tears from all of us. There is something extra special about a quilter gifting or receiving a quilt from another quilter.  I think it is the overwhelming joy from receiving such a treasured gift, but also the knowledge of understanding how much love goes into that gift while taking each stitch.

Totally Tulips quilt in its new home - photo courtesy of @NetteP
Photo courtesy of @NetteP - the Totally Tulips quilt in it's new home.

Now for the details of this quilt

Pattern: Totally Tulips by Missouri Star Quilt Company. Although the pattern uses 10" squares we found it a great stash buster project. 

Fabric: Stash buster, we all dug deep into our stashes for this one

Quilting: a team effort by Bec on her Brother Machine and me on my Janome 

Label and backing for the Totally Tulips Quilt



1 comment

  • Oh my gosh!!! Reading all of the extra details I didn’t know about!!! You three friends are amazing! So full of love for each of you xo


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