If I could spend a day with a quilter, hands down it would be Mary Engelbreit. The woman’s work is delightful; she is creative beyond description and her talent is off-the-charts.
My first exposure to Mary Engelbreit’s work was in 1982 when I came across her charming and whimsical quilt pattern called “Playtime Pals” featured in Better Homes & Gardens Creative Ideas Christmas magazine. I ordered the pattern immediately via Canada Post and couldn’t wait till it arrived! The pattern was an iron-on outline of sweet & cheery children in vintage outfits. One needed to complete the outlines using fabric paints… basically colouring for adults. I ironed all the pattern outlines onto muslin fabric in different sizes, purchased an array of fabric paints and set to work, painting for days on end. (I had never used fabric paints in the past, so there was a bit of learning curve and some less-than-perfect blocks!) I loved every single minute of working on that quilt.
Playtime Pals became my baby daughter’s first and favourite bedtime treasure. She virtually loved that quilt to its demise as it became tattered and torn throughout the decades of her life.
I have tried, in vain, to find that pattern again so I could make Playtime Pals for my sweet baby granddaughter, Harlow. I’ve contacted Mary Engelbreit’s “people”, the magazine that first published the pattern, and checked for it on ebay countless times. No luck.
Maybe one day, I’ll come across that fabulous pattern again – still in it’s plastic and wrapping from 31 years ago. Or maybe someday, I will meet Mary Engelbreit in person and she will dig this pattern out of her archives – just for me! Fingers crossed!