Saturday, June 4, 2011

Promises Kept

When it comes to quilting, I call myself "an experienced beginner" as there is sew much to learn ... and in some cases ... learn better. I have only been quilting for a few years.

Well ... actually ... that is not quite true. My first "quilt" was made when my first baby was on the way over 28 years ago and my hubby made a cradle and I made the mattress and bumpers and bedding to size. The nesting instinct was strong back then and I had time on my hands. That first quilt was flannel applique ... and I had never heard the term "fusible" or "needle-turn" or any quilting terms really. I just bought some green and yellow and white flannel and eyelet and gingham, a craft roll of batting and started cutting and sewing ... no pattern. Green and yellow and white (my favorite baby colors) because we had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl until our baby boy waved at us when he was born. I think I drew the bear applique outline on the fabric with a pencil, cut it out and just machine zig-zagged around it. I had so much fun I made a pillow, too. His blankee was cute and he loved it to pieces ... literally. I also did not know I was supposed to take a picture of my quilts. I did take a picture of my baby in the cradle and on the quilt ... so that is what you see above.

I made a purple and white one for the next baby boy. This one had a sleeping kitty curled up on it. My baby girl was less than two years later and the kitty quilt was handed down to her ... but I did crochet her a beautiful pastel rainbow star blanket and set to make it all new.

When my baby girl was packing to go off to the college dorm and the nest was emptying, the nesting instinct struck in reverse and I had time on my hands again, so she finally got her own quilt. After a trip to Jo-Ann;s where I bought a magazine that had a "Learn to Quilt in 10 Easy Steps" and she picked out enough fabric for me to make two twin size quilts. That first quilt was from the magazine. The extra fabric was cute and made into my second quilt without the benefit of any pattern.

After this the quilting bug and bitten me good so I started making other quilty items. I found the quilt shops in my area. I looked up quilting tips and tricks online. I bought a simple table topper pattern and kit. I put together a Christmas wall hanging. Then my oldest son was moving to his first apartment and, of course, Mom wanted him to have a quilt. I bough an easy pattern, "Turning Twenty," and a bright rainbow of batiks and I started making blocks. I decided to make a bigger quilt as he was getting a queen size box spring and mattress so I bought more bright batiks. I made more blocks. Then when I laid them out I decided that I needed to do something to break up all that color. I bought a few yards of a solid black fabric to make something that the quilting sites called "sashing." I added black strips to the blocks. I ended up with so many blocks I made a big over sized queen quilt, two pillow shams and had enough left over for a lap-size quilt.

When it came time to quilt the big quilt for my son, I had a problem. My old sewing machine had a very small throat. The box said it had a "walking foot" ... I had no idea what that was so I looked in the manual to see what it might look like. Did not have that in my assortment of attachments. Finally I found it stuck in the foam packing at the bottom of the box. Aha! Now maybe I could quilt this quilt! Well ... I tried ... I struggled ... I ripped out quilting ... I tried again. I did in the end manage some straight line quiting on the black sashing. The quilt looked very nice in my son's new home. I suggested that he bring it home when it needed to be washed and I would do it for him as it needed a large capacity washer, mild soap, etc. Over time and washings, the batting shifted and got quite lumpy. The last time he brought it to me washed ... um ... this was almost two years ago ... I said I really needed to keep it and try to "fix it." It was, of course, a huge task. Sooooooooo ... it got put aside and my dear sweet son never mentioned it to me.

Two weeks ago, he and his gal moved to a beautiful new apartment. Privately she told me that Jon "misses" his quilt and has mentioned it to her many times and that it would make a good birthday gift for him "if possible." I am actually very happy that she felt comfortable enough to let me know he really wanted his quilt back. I had wondered if it was just one of those things that was all The Mom's Big Idea. So I pulled the quilt out of the closet and took off the binding and began picking out all the old quilting. It was a task. Then last Friday I took it to the quilt shop and rented one of their long arms and did an all-over meander in bright rainbow thread. Last Saturday was his birthday and he got to "view" his gift in progress but it took a few more days for me to sew the binding back ... and here it is!

I will try to get a photo of it soon in its new home. For now it is all tucked into a plastic bag and waiting for him to stop by this weekend an pick it up.

Mina says she wants to go with the quilt ...

;) Pat


  1. What a gorgeous quilt you made for Jon, Pat! I'm glad you were able to fix it for him and in time for his birthday. How nice of his girlfriend to mention it to you!

    Carol (NJ)

  2. LOL.. great story.. so happy you shared the progression of your first sons quilt, your quilting journey and the absolutely beautiful quilt. This is a beautiful quilt, totally my colors and I'm sew happy you've shared it again with us today via a different blog story. I'd have never known this post was here otherwise. Thank you.


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