Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Bad Decision Quilt

Once again the weather cannot decide if it’s a) summer (yesterday was very hot and humid and we almost put the A/C on or b) fall (very cold wind today). Spring does not seem to be an option this year. However, we braved the cold wind and Joe cut the grass while I cleaned up the garden – lots of grass growing in it for some odd reason – and weeds because of the man behind us and the people beside us who do not pull their weeds! Grrrrrr! I also got a couple more cards made this morning so overall a pretty productive day – and it’s not over yet!

As I was trying to decide what card to post today I came across the photo of the quilt I made for my middle daughter and realized I hadn’t posted it yet. So here’s Janette’s quilt.

This quilt is HUGE! Joe is not tall enough to hold it up (he’s just under 6’) even with his arms up in the air and it’s still dragging on the floor. So what you see on the floor is also on top. It wasn’t meant to be that way so here’s the story behind it. I made this quilt top (the giant star and first dark plum border) probably 6 or 7 years ago...maybe longer. I know I hadn’t been quilting long and had not pieced many quilts at that point…mostly crazy quilts. It really was too difficult for a beginner but I didn’t know that. (Bad decision #1) In fact, I don’t think we knew exactly what we were making so it was likely a mystery quilt class. (Bad decision #2 – turns out I hate mystery quilt classes) We were told how much of each fabric to bring and to make sure it was bright and had great contrast – and one of the suggestions was if we choose a dark purple, go with a light green with a pink middle. I decided to follow the suggestions – bad decision #3! I hated the green when it was done…..and it turned out to be a square quilt which I also dislike. So the top got folded up and put away for several months or more.

Then I dug it out and took it back to the quilt store and asked for help in making it not square and bought the co-ordinating fabric. Folded it up and put it way again. Bad decision #4. Months later I got it out and sort of forgot what Rick (owner of quilt shop) told me what to do and it turned out larger but still almost square – about 2” difference. Back in the box it went.

Somewhere along the way I had taken a photo of it and I happened to show a picture of it to my daughter and she liked it (go figure) but then again, purple has been her favourite colour since she was a baby. So I pulled it out again but upon closer inspection I noticed a lot of the seams were not sewn properly and I had to “unsew” (rip out) about a third of the seams and re-sew them. I can’t believe how bad my sewing was back then but when I think back we were told to hurry with our sewing or we would never get the quilt done in one lesson. (Bad decision # 5 – don’t rush when quilting). I was looking for something else and lo and behold I found a large strip of the dark plum fabric in the stash. Once I added a strip to the top and bottom it was no longer square –very, very large, but not square.

Then I realized that the backing I had for it was sized for the first square size (did not buy extra fabric - bad decision #6) so I had to find more purple fabric in the stash and piece the backing. Once the backing was done I needed to quilt it. I just own a domestic sewing machine but I couldn’t afford to send it out to be quilted. People, this was bad decision #7 and it was the worst. I believe the quilt ended up being about 72”x 90”! Trying to scrunch a large quilt into the bed of a domestic sewing machine is not for the faint of heart…but I did it!

Okay I bet you think that’s the end of the story. Oh no, bad decision #8 is a repeat of bad decision #6 – I didn’t have enough binding now – I was 30” short. I didn’t think there would be a chance in you-know-where that the quilt shop would have any of the same fabric left but in the corner of the wine coloured fabric section I found a bolt with about 2 yards left! Woohoo! I felt so lucky I stopped at the next store and bought a lottery ticket. ….bad decision #9 – waste of $2.00 as I didn’t win a thing.

So by the time the quilt was finished, winter was pretty much over so she hasn’t actually got it yet but we will be going down for a visit soon and take to her. Confession – this was her Christmas gift. Bad Mother!

Sorry for the long post but it was a story that just had to be told.


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