Three, maybe four years ago, my oldest sister Kathi, decided it would be hilarious for all of us siblings to sew our mother a lot of pillows in the shaped like hearts. There is a backstory to this involving an ugly heart pillow and my mother’s eventual sigh of relief to be rid of it, but that is not my story to tell. Unfortunately for me, I was the only one of my siblings to show even a modicum of interest in sewing, so, silly me, I volunteered to not only make my pillow, my husband’s pillow and my twin’s pillow, but also a newer version of the hideous original heart pillow. Can I just note that red fabric with lips on it is just not easy to find.
I like to sew, it requires me to live in the present. It quiets my monkey mind and forces me to focus on the task at hand. When you sew, the minute you let your mind wander, one sleeve ends up shorter than the other. It is my practical zen. So, if I am honest, making the heart pillows was fun, but I ended it up with a boat load of left over fabric.
I suppose someone more skilled than I wouldn’t have had yards and yards of leftover fabric, but fabric estimation is not my strong point. So, tap, tap, tap…. What to do with a bunch of leftover fabric… Oh, hey, I know, how about making my first ever quilt! Yessss, and how about a queen size quilt, in a log cabin pattern. Ohh, and yes, it will be hand quilted, but no, I think I will just use a really big hoop, not some fancy quilting frame.
Thus the journey began… Now it should be said that I am not a sewing perfectionist. This will be important to know.
The quilt top took no time at all. This is mostly because I thought I knew what I was doing, and that turned out to not be true. I cut three and a half inch strips of various lengths with my rotary cutter and pieced the whole mess together with whatever thread I could find. Running out of fabric and improvising in places as I went. When I realized that it wasn’t really a log cabin pattern, well, it became a patchwork quilt. In the finest tradition of practical American quilting, using up a bunch of fabric and creating a useful object. Thank you very much… er anyway. I got some backing material and batting and managed to get the sucker to the point of “quilt sandwich” in a little less than a month. Then I started the hand quilting.
It is my experience that quilters either love or hate the actual act of hand quilting. I actually found the activity kind of meditative. So meditative in fact that I decided to extend the quilting of the quilt for three years. You see, that is how long it takes a foul weather quilter (who wants to quilt when it’s beautiful and sunny!) with an 18″ hoop, to quilt every block of a queen size quilt. What? I’m not proud. For the record, I would probably send out another quilt of this size to be machine quilted…
So for those of you who have listened to me tell you about the quilt, I have been making for the last three years… IT’S DONE. Thank the quilting Gods, and thanks to Lora, from work, who listened with enthusiasm and offered encouragement and advice as I finally finished it.