Doesn’t it feel good to finish something? This time, I had a lot of help. Here are my helpers, in chronological order.
My own desire to make a quilt for my first biological niece. (I married into a family with babies, so technically this isn’t the first time I’ll be Aunt Megan.)
My Aunt suggesting that we paint the letters of my sister’s baby’s name during her shower weekend… which didn’t work out because the parents were keeping that a secret until she was born.
The flash of creativity that gave me the idea to make a signature quilt. We would write our guesses for the baby girl’s name on fabric and I’d make it into a quilt.
All of the family members who came together to celebrate my sister in January of this year… and also happened to sign blocks for the baby’s quilt.
A deadline. Yup, I’ve had this quilt in the works since January… and by “in the works” I mostly mean sitting in a drawer being ignored. I get to spend this Thanksgiving with my family and deliver the finished quilt in person. That is, if I finish it in time.
My online quilting group. We call ourselves Snowflakes. I posted photographs of the quilt and said that I was basting it… which gave me accountability and made me actually do it.
A dear friend who invited me over to sew with her on Saturday. I borrowed her marking pen and quilted the whole thing in one sitting. Straight-line quilting is much less boring to do when you’re across from a chatty friend.
My Hulu shows. I enjoy hand-stitching the binding on quilts late at night with the TV on. Unfortunately, late night TV isn’t something I enjoy watching but there’s always “Bones” and “Once Upon a Time” in my queue.
So here I am putting the last few stitches on the binding. I’ll add a label tomorrow and toss it in the wash to minimize the amount of cat hair I’m giving away. And TA-DA! Done.
Ta-da! Here they are, the long awaited photographs of “Estey’s Quilt.” Isn’t it cool? This is both my latest finish and the first of the portrait quilts I’ve made.
It started with a quilt show where I saw some beautiful applique quilts of a tiger’s face. Those quilts had been made from a pattern. My friend knew the perfect book when I mentioned that I’d like to learn how to make quilts like that, but from my own photographs, and to draft my own pattern. Here’s the link to that book on Amazon. It’s Faces and Places by Charlotte Warr Anderson. http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Places-Print-Demand-Edition/dp/1571200002/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347682166&sr=8-3&keywords=charlotte+warr+anderson. She teaches how to use the shapes and shadows from actual photographs in quilts. Her method is reverse applique by hand. So that’s what I did for this first one. It is also hand quilted entirely by hand… which is why it took so long to make.
I found that I enjoyed this project so much that I wanted to make more… so I experimented with fusible webbing and machine quilting to streamline the process.
So there you have it, the whats and hows. But what are really special to me about this quilt are the whys. See, Estey is my little sister. We’ve pretty much had an up-and-down relationship from day one… when I threw a tantrum that “my baby” wasn’t named Jesus. (She was due around Christmastime, and I was nearly four years old.) Recently I’ve been putting a lot of effort into remembering the good times, and appreciating the woman she is today. That’s what I was focusing on with every hand stitch. The photograph this quilt is based on was taken when she was a toddler, struggling to get out of the stroller at Grandma’s house.
My baby sister is now married and expecting a child of her own. I feel like I’m not articulating this well right now, but I feel even more connected with and happy for her because of the time I put into this project. Plus it’ll be a great happy-expectations gift when I get it in the mail.