<![CDATA[kokobaru - blog]]>Mon, 26 Feb 2018 18:19:46 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[kokobarU Hexi custom memory quilt]]>Sat, 10 Feb 2018 17:50:02 GMThttp://kokobaru.ca/blog/kokobar-hexi-custom-memory-quilt​This custom kokobaru hexagon patchwork memory quilt is ready to come home!
On occasion I have clients who opt to have more than one quilt made. Sometimes the quilts they have created are all for themselves, but other times they’re extraordinary gifts for dad or grandma or grandpa. Can you imagine receiving such a special gift made from the clothes of someone you love?  It gives me the goosebumps.
​I love how quilts scrunch up after their first wash. There’s something magical in that scrunchiness, it’s like all the memories and love and joy are sealed in. It may sound crazy, but you need to remember that it’s impossible for me not to get attached to these little pieces of fabric and the little person they came from while I’m working with them. I hold and sort, cut and piece, again and again as I design and create each quilt. We write back and forth about ideas and memories. In the end, each quilt has its own personality, one that I’ve spent a fair bit of time with. I love them all, but when it’s time for them to go home, I’m so happy that they’ll be back where they belong.
I’ve been working with this client for well over a year on multiple quilts. After making one for her mother and husband, this quilt is just for her. Finally. Over the time I worked on her other quilts we discussed design ideas and patterns. It can be a hard decision. A custom panel or a patchwork? And regardless of which you choose, what do you want to do with it? Sometimes it comes easily, sometimes hard. In the end she opted to go with a hexagon patchwork with a chambray backing and matching binding. Each little hexagon holds a memory of times with her son, back when he was just a baby.

I have one more quilt to complete for this lovely family, and I’m a little bit sad that our time together will be done soon. It’s been such a pleasure. ​​
If you were to have a custom quilt made, what do you think you would want to have? A custom panel or a patchwork? 
<![CDATA[PATCHWORK MEMORY QUILT]]>Sat, 30 Dec 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://kokobaru.ca/blog/patchwork-memory-quiltSo many quilts I haven't had a chance to share! This was for an amazing little guy named Kal-el. It made sense that Superman was featured heavily (if you don't get that reference you may need to learn a bit more about the man of steel). 
My favourite thing about this quilt is the hidden Superman onesie. Just like Superman of days of old, one of these squares is actually a disguise, hiding Superman's true identity underneath. 
Can you tell which one it is? 
<![CDATA[Sail away]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://kokobaru.ca/blog/sail-awayI haven't had much of a chance to blog any creations for quite a long time. With my busy little kids, and my photography business life got really busy. 
This is one of a set of quilts that I'm making for a special family. Daddy has been a sailor all his life, so it was fitting that his quilt be full of nautical prints from his son's clothing and a sail boat on the waves. 
I tried to create a lot of texture and the sense of a wild sea through different types of free motion stitching and the different textures of the fabrics involved. Crinkles, puffs, and contrast all make the ocean feel alive and powerful. 
If I recall correctly, the sail was made from a handmade burp cloth that wee G used as a baby. It worked perfectly to give this little boat the sail it needed. 

​I neglected to photograph the back, but they chose a navy minky, so I imagine it is keeping them nice and warm this winter. 
<![CDATA[scrap magic, a little bunny and a teeny tiny toy quilt]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 14:51:52 GMThttp://kokobaru.ca/blog/scrap-magic-a-little-bunny-and-a-teeny-tiny-toy-quiltTo say I'm behind in blogging my projects would be a bit of an understatement. Ok, it would be a huge understatement. Uninterrupted computer time isn't something I tend to get a lot of. 

Right now I've sent the children to harass, errrr, I mean find their dad. He's off working in the basement. That means empty kitchen and precious moments for mama. (yeehaa!)

With only a few exceptions to date, there are always some scraps left over when I make a quilt. I work my hardest to include part of every piece that is sent to me, but sometimes there are also pieces that just don't fit the design. These scraps can sometimes be used to make an adorable special friend for your little someone and/or a teeny tiny toy quilt for snuggles. 

​Introducing Little Bunny and teeny tiny toy quilt (I'll share the actual memory quilt that these scraps came from at a later date...today it's all about the bunny and teeny tiny quilt). 
This little bunny was made with a left over sleeper and some scraps. The zipper and snap on the front of the sleeper are functional, so little ones can play and practice their fine motor skills (or mama can zip it open and closed when they feel a wave of nostalgia wash over them and can taste how much they loved those days of tiny zippers and tiny fingers and toes). 
The teeny tiny quilt is perfect for playing & for keeping little bunny cozy. It's also a nice size for a lovey and has a 2 tags and a strip of detail from one of her dresses as some added texture for little ones to enjoy handling. 
The teeny tiny toy quilt was backed with this super cute cupcake fabric. 
A little bunny isn't complete without a cute little tail. You can also see the hand stitched eyes and nose that bring this little critter to life. 
Tucked in & packed up for the journey home. 

If you have had a quilt made and haven't seen it posted, fear not. It's not because I don't love it. I really love each project I work on. I'm working on getting them all up, it's just going to take a little time. If you have photos of your quilt in action or want to share more of why you chose to have a quilt or toy made please drop me a line. I'd love to feature more about the story behind your quilt. Every story is so unique and full of meaning. 

<![CDATA[something to hold on to...]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 04:18:50 GMThttp://kokobaru.ca/blog/something-to-hold-on-toThis past fall I had the honour of working on projects that broke my heart, while at the same time filling it with a sense of purpose.
Most of my projects, as you may know, are memory quilts. Clients are consistently excited and happy. If this is you, you've likely saved your children's clothing, sometimes for years. You store them in boxes and bags, culling down to a manageable amount, visiting and re-visiting them again and again. You've searched extensively for someone to make your quilt and eventually found me. Sometimes you contact me right away, sometimes you wait. And when we begin our project together, it is an experience that bubbles with anticipation.

Memory quilts are full of eagerness and joy, of love and sentimental memories, of dreams about tomorrow and the desire to never forget yesterday (if you've had one made, I'm sure you'll agree).

Memorial quilts are quite different.

Memory quilts are made with someone's first clothes.
Memorial quilts are made with someone's last clothes.

I won't pretend that these projects don't have a huge impact on me. I feel a strong sense of connection when I'm working on my quilts and working on a memorial quilt brings up all sorts of personal memories and thoughts on life and loss. I feel deeply for my clients. I feel deeply in general. So it goes without saying that their stories become a part of who I am. And I am grateful for that. Grateful to have the opportunity to provide some solace to people in their grief by creating something they can use to wrap themselves in the memories of their loved one.
 When my grandma died most of her clothes were donated, but I asked my mom to put aside some pieces for me. I wasn't sure why at the time, I just felt like I had to hold on to them. To be honest, it was more like I couldn't let go of them. Her belongings were my last physical link to her. They mean a lot to me. ​I know it can't be possible, as they've been washed and years have passed since I lost her, but her clothes still smell like her. They bring me back in time and I can feel her when I look at them and hold them and smell them. They bring me some small bit of peace. They wait for the time when I'll be ready to make a quilt out of them for myself. ​And I look forward to that day, so that I too can wrap myself in a love I have not forgotten, and that I miss desperately. 

Until then, I check in on them from time to time and count myself lucky that I get to do something for others that is so meaningful and fulfilling.
What have you held on to to remember?