Tuesday, 20 March 2012


March is always a bit of a mad month for us. For starters, 4 of our 6 children have birthdays between the last days of February and the first two weeks of March. My husband Stephen and I celebrate our 23rd Wedding Anniversary on March 17th followed by English Mother's Day. This year we managed to fit a trip to Russia and a Machine Quilting Retreat weekend.  What a month!

Birthday and Anniversary cards on our dresser
This post is about a gift from Marina Mamonova, who we met in Moscow for the Handicraft Show. Marina and I were working together on a Seminar sponsored by the JUKI sewing machine company. I gave a lecture/demonstration of how we use the JUKI TL98-P and Exceed 600 sewing machines for free-motion machine-quilting on our 4 and 6 foot Art Quilter frames.  Marina gave a free-motion machine quilting workshop using the JUKI Exceed 600 sewing machines. It was such a pleasure to meet and work together. I was especially thrilled to get a close up view of a couple of Marina's quilts. When we said our goodbyes at the end of the Show, Marina gave me this amazing present.

 These Russian fabric dolls symbolize harmony in the home. Marina explained that they are made from antique Russian fabric that is no longer manufactured. So these fabrics are now very rare, much sought after and treasured. Such a precious gift! Marina said not to tuck it away safely in a drawer because it was customary for the dolls to be kept out in the open as a celebration of the harmony between husband and wife.

I love this present! The faceless dolls remind me of their Amish counterparts. I love it that the fabric is priceless vintage. And how the dolls seem to almost lean toward each other - it is amazing that dolls without faces can communicate so much expression. This is a gift that I will cherish!

 Besides being our Anniversary and St. Patrick's Day, the 17th of March is International Quilt Day. This gift  fits perfectly with 2 of the three. I reminds me how happy I am to be married to my husband.  And it reminds me of the ties we have with other quilters all over the world. Now it stands on my dresser, and whenever I see it will evoke a special love for Russian and her quilters! 

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