I Quilted

27 Jan

Yep – you read that right.  I actually quilted this past week.  After about a year and half hiatus I fired up the longarm and went to town.  But let’s back up a minute and tell the whole story.

I have this pesky 10 year old.  Once she gets an idea in her head, there’s no stopping her.  We remodeled her room two summers ago.  She went from cranberry walls to royal blue.  She accents in lime and white.  Well, she was adamant that she didn’t want a homemade scrappy quilt.  In fact, she wanted a store-bought, puffy, polyester filled comforter with matching everything – pillows, dust ruffle, etc.  I didn’t argue.  I was burned out on quilting and didn’t want to make her one anyway.  So we bought her a Bed-in-a-Bag.  She loved it initially.  I told her that I didn’t think she was going to like the puffy-polyester comforter after having thin-cotton-washed-a-million-times-comfy quilts in the past.  But she LOVED this new look.

Fast forward to now and the comforter is not quite as comfy as she thought it would be.  It’s getting kind of ratty looking and it’s just plain not warm.  Yeah… Told you so.  (No… I would never throw that in her face.  Okay… yes, I did.  I never said I was “Mom Of The Year”.)

So she started working on me last month.  “Mom, I think we can make a quilt together.”  Really?  We?   “I don’t sew or quilt anymore” was my response.  That didn’t work one bit.  She kept at it.

We began to wheel and deal.  “Okay, I might consider making a quilt if it was SUPER simple,” I said.  She bit on that as a sign that I was caving in and then there was no turning back.

We went to JoAnn’s on Saturday night.  The JoAnn’s in our area is a major buzz kill.  They have the most UNfriendly staff, it’s dirty, just bad news.  But I had coupons and wanted this to be as inexpensive as possible in case it didn’t turn out and in case she changes her mind again in a year and wants something totally different.  She picked out three fabrics and a backing and we went home to wash them.

On Sunday, I had to clean my sewing space.  That should have taken about 2 weeks.  But we (yes, WE- she’s also a cleaning fanatic so I figured I would get something out of this bargain – a clean sewing area) kicked out the cleaning in nothing flat.

My idea for quick and easy was quilt-as-you-go stripes on the longarm.  So I attached the backing to the longarm, then laid the batting on top.  Then we cut two strips of fabric and put them right sides together on top of the batting/backing combination.  I sewed a 1/4″ seam allowance through all four layers.  Flipped the one strip over to the right side, them repeated on down.

After trying to get the mechanics right and going slowly at first, we only finished three rows on Sunday. Monday was my marathon work day – no sewing of any kind.

Tuesday after school, we went back down to the sewing room to start up again.  Gianna read aloud to me (no books on tape needed when you have your own live version I guess).  That was the extent to her helping if you don’t count the “Are you done yet?”  “When do you think this will be done?” questions.  Okay, to be fair, she did help with some pinning too.

I kicked butt on Tuesday.  I got into a rhythm and went to town on that baby.  I finished all the stripes and started a large puzzle-piece meander across the whole thing.  The puzzle-piece meander was her choice over a pantograph.  I think the fact that I said it was quicker was the key.  She’s into immediate gratification and knows how I burn out quickly on these projects.

Wednesday night I only had to attach the binding and wa la – I was finished.

And there you have it folks.  A finished quilt (except I need to tack down the binding).  Only one slight problem.  It’s not wide enough for her bed!  I have a master’s degree in computer science and apparently can’t add. Or take an accurate measurement with a tape measure – one of the two.  Sheesh…  She claims it’s fine and she wants me to finish the binding tonight and go back to get more lime green so she can make matching pillow shams.

Overall it was a totally stress-free project.  Quilting got to be so stressful towards the end.  I wasn’t enjoying it at all.  This was nice.  I had fun and it was so simple that it was almost impossible to screw it up.  The quilting fairies were visiting with their good fairy dust so there weren’t any folds in the backing or problems with the tension or anything.  (I did have that one problem where the machine wouldn’t turn on and I thought it was because it had sat so long unused.  But it turns out that you have to plug it in… so we probably won’t count that as a problem.)

My knitting was TOTALLY neglected this week because between this and work, there wasn’t much spare time.  Making supper, doing laundry, attending an academic team meet, playing chauffeur to the kids – all that still needs to fit in my schedule too.  But I can fit a quilt here and there in I think.  Heavens knows I have enough tops just waiting for a quick pantograph.  Nothing wrong with that, right?

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One Response to “I Quilted”

  1. Sonia January 28, 2012 at 7:18 AM #

    Yeah! It turned out really nice. Nothing beats a soft, comfy quilt!

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