Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finished. Done. Wrapped up. Completed. And I couldn’t be happier with the result:
Pause and gaze at it with me, will you?
This is by far the most time consuming and intricate quilt I have ever attempted. It is also the one that brings the most satisfied smile to my face. I love that I made it for Eleanor- starting before I knew that she would be a ‘she’- and that it will stay at our house for many years to come.
I will admit that there were times when I thought I might never finish it. I bought the fabric in January of 2008 and put the binding on it exactly two years later. The summer she was born, I remember thinking, “OK. Goal #1- learn how to be a mom. Goal #2- finish that quilt!” Then time slipped away and school started up again. I only had about thirty percent of the blocks made. Then we learned Eleanor was going to be a big sister. And I panicked. How could I make a quilt for the new baby without having hers finished?! What kind of mother was I?! So, I picked a super easy pattern for the new quilt (sorry, Graham) and Eleanor’s quilt got lapped (sorry, Eleanor). My husband will tell you that he never once made fun of me for that, but I beg to differ.
Graham arrived and I found a bit of gusto somewhere to get the quilt finished. I divided up the remaining foundation papers into manageable groups of eight. I made myself do one set every day and, slowly but surely, the blocks were finally finished. Thank goodness for sleepy newborns and napping toddlers. If there is one bit of advice I’d pass along to someone attempting this quilt it would be that- do it in chunks. If you look at the sheer number of blocks to make it will be overwhelming. At least it was for me!
And the quilting! Can you check out the quilting? I never once thought about quilting this myself on my machine. It needed more than I could give it. Luckily, I know the world’s best quilter! I asked for orange thread and thankfully Angela thought it would look good, too. She surpassed all of the high expectations I had for this quilt. Check out the mixture of squiggly and straight lines and Xs. The night I picked the quilt up from Angela I called my mom, my husband and two friends on the way home to tell them about it. I was even talking so excitedly that I was driving down my street and realized I hadn’t stopped to pick up the takeout we were planning!
I am almost always happy with how a quilt finishes. Sometimes I think, “I could have used a different print here or there” or “Maybe I should have used a different binding.” This one, though, has me feeling thrilled, proud and every other happy adjective in between.
For anyone interested:
Finished quilt size is 40″ x 42″ (yeah, for all that work I wish it was bigger, too)