Lippity Trip: A New Quilt Pattern

Let me just say that I love it when time presents itself for me to afford myself the gift of writing a blog post. I always mean to do more of it, but it does involve time that isn’t always plentiful these days, whilst (just like everyone else) I’m juggling between all the things!

All that said, whenever a writing bug strikes me, it’s usually about a feeling or memory that’s been settled deep inside me since I was small, which somehow relates to something I’m doing present-day. In this case, the first book to ever belong to me (and still does).

It’s the Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter, and it’s been mine since I was six years old; gifted to me by one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, my gram, whom I miss every day. 

I miss lots of things about her, but mostly I just miss

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her spunky spirit which, in hindsight, sort of felt like another appendage. I didn’t ever have to wonder what she thought about something; I just knew, because we felt each other like that. 

Anyway – the book. In the midst of the dozens of moves I experienced as a child (which quite often meant moving home to live at her house with my grandfather), this little book is one of the few things that’s always been with me.

The thing I’ve learned about books that we read over and over as we grow – they have a way of evolving as we do. We carry the memory of how they made us feel when we were small, and that feeling shifts and changes as our becoming shifts and changes too.

If you know anything about the Tale of Peter Rabbit, you know Peter’s siblings were dutiful little bunnies who followed the rules set forth by their mother, as she set off with her basket, one ordinary day. She provided guidelines for all four of her children that they could go into the fields or down the lane, but specifically to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden, reminding them of how their father had wound up in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.

If you’re like me, you might find this last bit a slightly disturbing thing to include in a story written for a child. Yet as I’m currently on the other end of the parenting of six children into adulthood, I realize that a little ‘fear of reality’ can actually do more good than harm. Nobody’s really going to wind up in a pie, right? But the lesson is there, isn’t it? Pay attention. Think ahead. Follow rules. In general, behave yourself!

Alas for Peter, who obviously didn’t, some peril ensued. You know the story or can imagine the gist of it. While his siblings went straight to gather blackberries, Peter headed for Mr. McGregor’s garden, squeezing under the gate in search of tasty lettuces, french beans and radishes. The obvious encounter with Mr. McGregor resulted, followed by a frantic chase, then a long stay inside a cramped, damp watering can for hiding.

In all of the adventure of this little tale, there’s one peculiar phrase that’s stuck with me over the years. It’s just after Peter emerges from the watering can – exhausted and disoriented from all that running and hiding, feeling plenty lost.

As above, it goes like this:

“After a time he began to wander about, going lippity-lippity – not very fast, and looking all round.” 

If you’ve ever been lost, you know how Peter feels. There’s a period of hopelessness after a long struggle, before the sparkle of hope emerges once again. Lippity-lippity, not very fast. But if you keep going. Keep trying. Give yourself a minute to catch your breath…you can muster the determination try again.

One more thing about the actual word ‘lippity,’ in case you wondered: By definition, it isn’t a real word at all. The only references you’ll find if you do a search of the word lippity are surrounding the Tale of Peter Rabbit.

For this reason, I love it especially, because it means I get to broaden the definition of the word to include a measure of perseverance; when we’re working to create something just right, we sometimes have to take the long path to make it so.

Meet my new quilt pattern.

I call it a modern twist on the Trip Around the World quilt, and to me – it represents more of a journey than a trip. On some levels, it represents MY journey through the ins and outs of pattern design, often progressing along lippity-lippity, not very fast, but always with purpose (and so much learning!). As for the quilt, I like to think of the design as similar to a certain imaginary garden owned by a not-so-friendly farmer, which features helpful arrows for guiding a little lost rabbit to gates where safe, surrounding blackberry hedges and his well-behaved siblings can be found. ❤️

7 thoughts on “Lippity Trip: A New Quilt Pattern

  1. Love this. It evokes such feelings of a child growing. And thank you for persevering to a new pattern.

  2. Great blog post and quilt! Unfortunately last night, here, little bunny didn’t end up in a pie, but chased and gobbled up by my dog. My son said he was almost swallowed whole. 🫣

    1. Oh DEAR, Susan! Sorry to hear this. We had a similar situation with our cat and a little bunny when our kids were growing up. Hard to be mad at the pet for instinctive behavior, though!

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