Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Quilt for a Big Girl

According to Flickr, I bought fabric for this quilt back in July 2010.  The intention was always for a quilt for Alice’s big girl bed…. Which she moved into in (again, according to Flickr) in October 2010.  

Let me break this down.  

I thought I could sew a queen sized quilt in 3 months.  During my final weeks of pregnancy through G’s first month.  

Reality: >3 years.  I really might be delusional.  This delusion coming from the same place that told me I could knit the sweater from this post in AN AFTERNOON.  I guess there are worse things than raising the bar too high for yourself, but still!

With this project complete and now warming my favorite 5-year-old’s bed and not shoved half-finished and in pieces in a closet, I’ve realized some things.  One such discovery is that even though overwhelming to have a large-scale (for me) project in progress, I feel a little lost without a giant anchor project to give me something to go back to between smaller projects.  And there’s something to be said to that final moment when you do, in fact, complete significant after many years.  


As if I didn’t just bore you with all that background, let’s go back to July 2010...  


I bought a full fat quarter pack of Heather Ross’s new Far Far Away II collection.  I mixed and matched the fabrics.  I looked at them.  I drooled on them.  I picked favorites.  I thought about colors I wanted to focus on from the broad palette.  I was on a minimalism kick and forcing myself away from my usual standard of ALL THE COLORS AND ALL THE PATTERNS ordered some Kona Cottons I thought would complement the palette with a base of Kona Snow.  I was appalled at just how far off my monitor reflected the konas when they arrived in my mailbox way more cantaloupe than gold, way more sky blue than lake blue and cursed myself for being lazy.  I got lazy and decided I could make them work. 


I thought about quilt patterns. What would best showcase the Far Far Away II prints?  What would not make me want to pull my face off by my 50th block?  Eventually I landed on a Wonky Star pattern (I used this tutorial).  Organic enough where I didn’t have to be exact with every single cut and line sewn, but structured enough with the blocks and snow background for me to incorporate a billion colors as I’m prone to do.  All orbiting around the magic that is the print itself. 

I cut a bazillion triangles.  Then a bazillion more.  The colors that I thought I could make work bored me (I need color!), so I added more colors.  I cut some squares. 

Finally! Everything was ready to start sewing.  I sewed a couple blocks.

After a couple weeks, I had a small little stack of blocks. 

Over months, my little stack would grow, but was so so far (SO FAR!) away from what I needed – 49 blocks. 

James give it his seal of approval (aka cat fur everywhere)

Eventually, I could see the light.  


Then, I ran out of Kona Snow. 

Of course but the time my replenished supply of Kona Snow arrived, my quilting mojo was long gone.

After the mojo would appear and disapper for awhile, I finally got close. Only one more block to go!  And, then….


Wait for it…

...wait...

I ran out of Kona Snow! AGAIN.  WITH ONE BLOCK TO GO!

How does one miscalculate fabric yardages so poorly they need to reorder not just once, but TWICE?  And with only ONE block to go?  Consider this a glimpse into my world.  

So, I ordered a lifetime supply and quickly finished the block when it arrived. 

All blocks finished, I laid them on the floor in all sorts of variations to find the best.  Then, as anyone who’s in the home stretch would do, I stacked them up neatly and put them in a drawer for EIGHT MONTHS. 

Fast forward to this past Fall.  With Al’s birthday and Christmas approaching I pulled them out of the drawer and stitched them into an actual quilt top. A real live top! The end was near.  Of course, as expected, it took me forever to get around to buying a backing, but a week before Christmas this puppy was finally done!  DONE!


I washed and wrapped it and put that sucker under the tree.  And Al LOVES it.  At first she told me the sleeping beauty blocks "scared her," but I luckily forced convinced her to keep it on her bed and now she loves it! 

Fabric
 Kona Snow, Kona Woodrose, Kona Wildflower, Kona Coal, Kona Parsley, kona lake…some other Konas that probably don’t even exist anymore I ordered them so long ago 
Loads of other stash fabrics
 Some cloud 9 fabric (backing)
Some Denise Schmidt fabric (binding)
                               

2 comments:

Jodi said...

What a gorgeous quilt! I feel like I have some sort of craft equivalent of beer goggles when it comes to estimating how much time and effort it will take to get something done.

Having a big project is sort of reassuring -- I've enjoyed having a big afghan to work on. I can dabble with other smaller projects, but there's something trusty and dependable in the background where I don't have to make any decisions.

lobstah said...

Hey! I was just looking at my old blog in a reminiscent mood and suddenly wondered if you were still blogging. And here you are! Funny...
I love the quilt and enjoyed the story of the many twists and turns before you finally got it done. I had to laugh a bit at Al being afraid of the Sleeping Beauty panels--my sister was terrified of Sleeping Beauty as a kid (well, terrified of Maleficent I guess--"Touch the spindle--touch it I say!"--eek!) So Al is not alone! Funny the things that frighten us as kids.
Miss you guys, we are hoping to come down to CT to visit before spring.