Monday, June 29, 2015

a quilt full of warm wishes

These ideas are usually born following a wedding when my sisters are here visiting.
We're hanging out on the back patio and scheming up something else to celebrate.
Quite obviously, we love to create and have parties.
We've already started planning another one but don't tell anyone.

This idea must have been born there as well.
Thank goodness for Roxanne, the master quilter, and her idea or this wouldn't have worked.
My original plan included sending pieces of muslin out for messages.
She suggested that I put together the squares first and then send them.
Which meant ... hurry up and do that quick.
So several months ago I picked up some fabric ...

and moved into what is my guest room.
You want to come and stay, don't you?
I can just feel it!
Someone at work thinks that my life is completely organized. All of the time.
Oh my. I told her it isn't. I don't think she believes me.
This poor room. We had a wedding coming up in 4 weeks, a birthday in several weeks ....
and that's just one side of the room!

Let's see what the other side gives us.
Collector dolls that need to find a home.
A massage table that could really be opened and used. Hint. Hint.
Who doesn't store boxes of motorcycle oil in their bedroom?

Tripping over all kinds of goodies, I managed to get the squares put together
using an idea off Pinterest and no pattern.
Maybe I should have used a pattern!

 Squares done.

Do you just love my precision crafting?!
I sort of cook the same way, in case you wondered.
I drew up the plan and saved it in a place where I for sure could find it.

Tucked the squares into envelopes with sharpies and instructions.
I even included self-addressed and stamped envelopes for some to return to me.
I think I screwed up postage on one leading to part of the problem at the end.
My theory is to make it as easy as possible on them,
thereby making my life easier!

My hope was to have everything back before June 1st as I was on vacation that week.
It sort of worked and kind of didn't.
There is nothing like opening the box at the post office and seeing that manilla envelope in there.
Sort of reminscent of Christmas!
Rip it open to see what the next sibling came up with.

Each of the ten kids got a square that looks like the one at the top of the pile.
One printed square in the middle with muslin around the edges.
I also basted pink thread around the edges to keep writing inside the seam allowances.

The next generation got squares that looked like this. 
Room for messages either on the muslin or on the lighter printed fabrics.

If the postal service expects any pay increases from me ... they ain't gettin' it.
One package went missing for several weeks.
Another was delivered to a neighbor who kindly delivered it to the right home when he
returned from vacation.
June 1st had come and gone by then. 
The gift was scheduled to leave in the trunk of my car the morning of June 10th.

Now, mind you, I'm not a quilter.
I've made denim blankets by the many.
I like to make baby blankets here and there.
But to get this bugger put together in a day?!
I pieced what I could into rows while I waited for the last ones to arrive,
and about noon on the Saturday before the fateful Wednesday ...
I hit the sewing machine.

The top piece was done with many texts to my sister, Jen.
"The seams don't line up ... what am I going to do?!"
My biggest problem was that there are master quilters (I don't know if that is even a title)
that live within a few feet of Mom and they were going to inspect this thing.
Jen reassured me, repeatedly, that it would be fine, but if you're anything like me ...
it still wasn't okay.
Thank goodness I had only one day to get this done or I'd have been ripping things apart.

Machine quilting was completely new for me.
Chalk this one up for a first time experience and a learning one at that!
I can't wait to make a baby blanket and try this!

The quilt was machine quilted and done before I went to bed.
To be honest ... I would have carried this with me on the plane instead of having Jari carry it.
I sort of planned to do the binding on Wednesday ....

until Sunday morning when I found out I was having company Wednesday.
I'm so glad they came to spend the evening and night with me!!
I just moved my buns back to that chair in the unbelievably fashionable guest room,
cut some fabric, threaded my machine, made some binding ...

and tried something else that was new to me!
Liz (my super crafty AK friend) was stunned that I don't machine sew on binding.
Well, Liz, it is now a part of my life.
Maybe not a fancy shmancy part, but a part!
And the fancy little foot that does all the work for you?
I don't have it. JoAnn's doesn't sell anything for my machine.
I need to find one on Amazon for the next quilt.
The thing is probably going to cost more than my machine did.

Tuesday evening she got boxed, tucked into the trunk and was ready for travel.

It certainly won't win any awards or ribbons at the fair,
but that wasn't its purpose.
Its purpose was to warm Mom with its messages.
To wrap her up in the warmth of them on days when she's feeling lonely.

Warm her on days when she's missing all those folks whose messages
might just put a smile on her face and warm her ...
all the way down to the last purkinje fiber of her heart.

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