A Quilt by Jill Brennan Brought Comfort During Italy Earthquake

 Jan 18, 2017

This story is partly based on an article written by www.blog.machinequilter.co.uk. To read the original article, click here.

When resident Textile Artist Jill Rose Brennan took a trip to central Italy to complete a one-off quilt commissioned by a friend, even she didn’t quite realise what the piece would mean to its new owner.

Textile Artist and Quilter Jill Rose Brennan had just bought her brand new 8-foot New England quilt frame and Juki sewing machine when she made the decision to pack it up into her van and travel to Italy to complete a special commission for Hannah McMahon, AKA Fashion Designer Nancy Mac.

The commission was a gift for Hannah’s 8-year-old son Stanley – a very special quilt that would be treasured and used time after time, and one that Stanley would cherish for years to come.

So Jill reassembled her equipment at her Italian workshop and set about crafting the stunning piece, basing it around vintage quilting blocks that Hannah had been collecting.

Jill chose some reproduction civil war era fabric to compliment the blocks, finishing the piece by ‘drawing’ oak leaf patterns across the entire quilt with a bright variegated thread, using her new quilting frame and Juki sewing machine.

Once completed, the quilt was given to the family to become a treasured keepsake. But the story doesn’t end there.

A couple of months later, central Italy was struck by a series of Earthquakes, the largest of which, on October 30th, was the biggest the country had experienced for over 35 years...

Jill recalls an anecdote involving the quilt told to her by Hannah after the quakes:

“The story goes that what happens there is that when there’s an earthquake, families go out into their cars to avoid falling rubble, so that’s what Hannah and the rest of family did.

“On the night of the biggest quake, the family had all got into the car settled when a little voice piped up, saying: I've left my quilt indoors’

“And sure enough, his dad Stuart risked going back into the house just to fetch the quilt.

“I couldn’t quite believe it when I read it Hannah’s email, perhaps only a child's mind could value something like a quilt that much”