Susan blames herself – after all, she’s the one who made the quilt using the magical needle.
Since that day Susan has made hundreds of quilts, searching for the world where her daughter disappeared.
Now, thirty years later, she thinks she’s found it…
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Susan tied off the last knot and sat back, arching her spine to relieve the tension of two hours of straight sewing. The quilt spread across the table, its colours dark and sombre in the afternoon light spilling in through the wide windows.
Susan never planned her quilts anymore. In the beginning she had, spending hours scouring material shops and picking just the right patterns and colours to piece together into the pictures she wanted. Now she didn’t bother.
The magic worked whatever she made.
She knew it was the old quilting needle handed down from mother to daughter for countless generations. Her mother had told her how it worked, how the magic in the needle formed the quilt into a gateway between places.
‘If you make a quilt with a summer theme, you’re likely to end up somewhere with a beach, maybe an island. If you sew a winter theme, you’ll end up somewhere in the snow.’
But her mother hadn’t understood the full extent of the needle’s magic.
And Susan had only worked it out when her six-year-old daughter Ally had asked for a unicorn quilt, and had fallen through it to another world.
The unicorn quilt had sat in Susan’s blanket box for thirty years, folded away and forgotten by the rest of her family. Not that Ally was forgotten; Susan, George and their two boys had remembered Ally on her birthday and at Christmas. But Susan knew she was the only one who still looked through the yellowing newspaper clippings detailing the search for Ally after she’d disappeared sometime during that awful night, who touched her official death certificate with tears in her eyes.
Because Susan knew that the police would never find any trace of Ally, no matter how hard they looked.
She herself had only discovered by accident where Ally had gone.