Friday, September 13, 2013

My giant project

Perhaps you remember me mentioning that I finally dove into the wonderful, crazy world of free-motion quilting. Well, never one to stand in the shallow end for long, I decided to dive in on my second effort. The first free-motion quilting I did was on a quilt about 48"-60". Maybe slightly larger. The second one...

Hmm, I think I'd better back up a bit.

In the four years since I seriously started quilting, I've made three quilts for our king-sized bed.
Each one has been slightly bigger than the last. The dimensions mandated by quilters don't take into account the size of man who sleeps under said quilt, you see. And in our case, what often happens is that one of us (me!) ends up with NO quilt because the other (Beve!) has rolled over, taking the whole thing with him. This has been an on-going issue for the length of our marriage. I've compensated by adding an extra blanket (now quilt) to my half of the bed--even during the warm summer months.
This one:
But now and then, it gets cold enough that Beve actually wants an extra quilt on HIS side, so I made him one that would be extra long (one of his complaints is that most blankets, sheets, quilts, etc are NEVER long enough!):

So we're a cornucopia  of colors and sizes and kinds now, especially in the dead of winter. And even though I love color, it's a little much. Beve doesn't even like color as much as I do. In fact, he asked me early in the summer if I'd make us one GIANT quilt with colors HE picked out, in a pattern of HIS choosing. 

What was I to say to that?


So, once I finished all the other had-to-be-finished-by-August projects, I got right on it. And it's a doozy. Massive. The largest quilt I've ever made. By far. 120" by 120". 
And because I'm a 'jump in at the deep end' kind of person, there was no way I wasn't going to free-motion quilt this quilt. I mean I taught myself how just last week, right? I must be an expert by now.

It's my third day of quilting, my third, full-time day, I should say. I had to run to the store this morning because I ran out of thread (and would have sworn I had enough when I started), and am so sore and aching, I can't possibly work on it today. SIGH.

But it's staring me in the face as I write this, so I thought I'd give you a glimpse of what I'm talking about:
It's 6 x 6 of these squares. What you see there is the yet to be finished part. Sadly. That's how slow I am. Behind my quilting station you can see all kinds of important aids to the process. A water bottle--gotta keep hydrated. Some dog bones--gotta keep our Big 'Fathead' busy. And then there's Maica's kennel off to the side for when she's just plain driving me crazy. Then there are the ordinary rulers, thread and other quilting equipment. It's a real going concern I've built for myself here in my family room. Pity that I'm too tired to take advantage of it today. There's a very good lesson here about jumping into the deep end when one doesn't REALLY know how to swim, but you can probably guess that.
Anyway, here's an up-close look at my work. You see the faint orange lines? I carefully drew all those free-hand quilting lines before I began, but once I got comfortable, didn't really need them. Now they're just getting in my way, and bugging me because I'll have to clean them off at the end. But,
"Live and learn," as Beve's high school basketball coach always said.
"And all you do is live."
Today, I'm just living.
Yep, living with this giant almost finished quilt in the middle of my quilting space in my family room.
Looking forward to it being finished.
But you know,
all those lines also represent lines of prayer.
Hours spent with God and the thread and my sewing machine. 
Kind of like my own little rosary, if you can understand that.
Praying for my husband.
It's a good thing.
And maybe that's why it's taking so long.
(At least I'd rather think that than that I'm just not very good at this yet!!! Or should have taken a class.:))

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Amazing work! I could never imagine creating all of these beautiful quilts...I don't know how you do it with your physical limitations. I am thoroughly impressed and in awe. Thank you for sharing these with us. Your Beve is a lucky, blessed...and he'll be nice a warm from head to foot this winter! Again, amazing work! Praise God!