The baby shower was yesterday, so it's finally safe to reveal the final quilt today!
I wanted to do this earlier today, but some business needed to be attended to first. On the order of brother-in-law and ex-wife who have been divorced for 15 years can't get their shit together enough for their son that just graduated high school. The short version: he will now have a graduation open house. The long version I'm sure you can imagine well enough.
On to happier things!
My junior year of college I was the NEXT person on the list to get a room to myself. The rooms are set up with two rooms that have a bathroom that joins them. So I would have had two across-the-bathroom roommates, but if luck had gone in my favor, I would have had that sleeping area all to myself. After three rather, um, interesting roommate pairings the first two years (one flunked out after the first semester - this was not a surprise to me after day two), I was wary and ready to just fork over the extra cash and be done with it.
I am so glad fate intervened. Because I had a (finally) great roommate! Okay, okay, she did sometimes leave her bras on the backs of chairs and wasn't always the tidiest with her books, but she never came home drunk with two boys (one for me, one for her!), she didn't decide to hate me and refuse to talk to me for months...she was great, even though there was that one night she dreamed she was fighting with her sister, also named Katie, and woke me up yelling...I thought at me! And we've stayed in touch since that year.
She's such a great gal, but seems to find every good-on-the-surface loser to date that is out there. One guy after another turned into a total mess and I honestly don't know what kept her going with dating. But a while ago, this same guy started showing up with her on facebook a lot. And he stuck around. Like for more than the few months it takes to find out he's a loser.
And then she announced earlier this year that they're expecting! Not married (at least not to my knowledge), but in this day and age, that's not an issue. And I know she has a good job, a good family behind her and will raise this little girl (yep, a girl) the best way there is. Even if this guy turns out to be a deadbeat down the road. (But I don't think he will. She's not the type to do something like get pregnant with a loser!)
So of course, all thoughts went to a quilt. I made her one quite a few years ago as a house-warming gift when she bought a house all by herself. Her dad was a builder, so the two of them did a lot of repairs and remodeling before she moved in, and the house was stunning when I went to visit. I don't know if I have a photo of that quilt anywhere...hmmm...
That took a little digging, but I DO have a photo! (Based on the background, I'd say I gave this to her and then went "oops" and asked her to get me a photo, but I do have one!) It's a little washed out here, but hey, it's a photo.
The pattern came from the December 2003 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and is called "Double Blue Delight" by Bettina Havig. I pretty much copied the colors exactly because I loved it. It's about 52x59 finished, so I'm pretty sure she hung it on the wall.
Finished and given in summer 2005.
Anyways, I was waiting to find out if this little one would be a girl or a boy and one morning it hit me. This quilt!
This is just the top...but it was in the Closet of Shame for a long time, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.
You see...this was an impuse buy. Many years ago (I'd guess about 9), my hubby and I were on our way to Kansas City, via St. Louis. We stayed the night in St. Louis and, in our sightseeing, stopped for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Hubby managed to drop a chicken wing and may have even gotten sauce on his underwear, it was such a skillful drop. Then I realized he had packed, for a 6-day trip, one pair of shorts. Okay, maybe two. And three shirts. No pants. WHAT?
We knew there would be at least a Wal-Mart somewhere along the way, so the next morning we continued west and in the middle of nowhere, I saw a sign for an outlet mall. With a big Levi's sign included. Well, that's a winner for basic mens clothing, right? (My hubby is very no-frills!) So we stopped.
Guess what was three doors down from the Levi's store? A quilt shop!
I found this kit, pattern included and decided if he got new clothes, I could at least get a quilt!
I sewed it up pretty soon after, but then I wasn't sure what to do with it. It's 60x60, so kind of an odd size, but at this point, I also didn't have a longarm, so the cost of finishing and just having it sit there seemed high.
And then, one day as I was thinking about what quilt to make and perusing Pinterest and whatnot, this quilt popped into my head.
This time, I have the means to finish it fully. And a reason.
So, without knowing the gender, I bought a back...that apparently I did NOT take a photo of. I swear I did, but can't find it. Oh well, it wasn't too fancy or anything. And you can kinda see it in the photos below.
I ordered some thread and when it came, this was project #1 to get quilted. Because I wasn't sure when the shower would happen and wanted to be ready.
Looks pretty good! That pieced diamond-ish border is a little wonky, but nothing some quilting can't work out. I quickly decided on motifs for each different area and started quilting. The scariest part for me any more is getting started. Once the machine is running and behaving, I relax. But it does have its off days and those are what scare me - am I going to have an off day?!
I took some photos of the corners at the top, so when I got to the bottom I remembered what I did. They serve me well here to highlight some of the quilting I did, too!
But as I started rolling, a quilt I thought was flat...
...looked a bit wonky hanging off the longarm. But again, nothing I panicked about. Just annoying. Thankfully I noticed early enough that I knew I was going to have to ease it a bit. Knowing to plan ahead was nice.
I may have gone a little swirl crazy in the white-ish background. (And I think it's because of this quilt I'm sick of swirls and they look like octopus arms now.)
I was this far along when I took a break for dinner. All but the flowers and leaves in the center portion were done. And I was freaking out. In the pieced border, there are batiks. Every time I hit one, my tension went wonky. Not terrible wonky, but enough that I wasn't entirely happy. And a LOT of the fabrics in the flowers are batik.
I let it slack here while I ate because keeping it all rolled up on the take-up leader adds wrinkles. No one wants wrinkles! Also...I have cats...
I switched thread colors to a turquoise that matched (my plan all along, but it helped ease some of my worry about tension because it wouldn't be as obvious) and took a deep breath. And you know what? The silly machine sewed like a dream!
I layed it on the floor and the top is flat. All that wonkiness is gone. Yay, I quilted it out!
Apparently I have failed to take a photo of the binding fabric as well, but the thread that nearly ran out? I got that one...
And finally, the finished quilt!
My hubby was none too pleased to hold this up for me, but it was one of the three days last month that it didn't rain all day, so I made him go outside with me. And then I put it and some diapers as packing material and a few other things in a box and sent it off.
The quilt is from the June 2009 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting, called "Summertime Blues" and is designed by Jill Finley. Funny how both her quilts have blue in the title. Not intentional!
And the best bonus? It is no longer in the Closet of Shame. It has a loving home.
There haven't been any cats in my photos yet today. Let's fix that!
Yes, Freddie is blurry, but he was giving cholera a good wrestling just then. He finds this every so often and always seems to drag it wherever he finds me and then tackles it. He's bigger than it now...I remember the first time he found it, it was nearly the size of him and he was having trouble tripping over it while carrying it in his mouth!
"oh, hi mom!"
And finally, let's complete the set of goofy Freddie photos...
He looks like he was about ready to attack the couch (or me), but he wandered off in another direction. But this is his current way of looking at me, apparently. At about 7 months, he's such a goofball. He hardly makes a noise, but loves to puff up at everything (noises, people, invisible things only he can detect...) and tear through the house like he's on fire. He is not on fire. Nothing is usually chasing him. He's just a nut.
In other quilty news, I have taken the blocks I made last week and assembled them into a top...
First the layout (with much Freddie help)...
...a poorly-lit photo, but good enough...
And then the top!
Look, sunny spots! It's been raining for literally about a month straight. The farmers are panicking because they can't plow or plant. Roads are disintegrating. And we're all water-logged! But yesterday was dry and today is supposed to be as well. Perhaps rain on Wednesday, but that's the only day in the current 6-day forecast, so I'm excited!
I also have finished my Pantone challenge quilt (binding finally sewn down) and got a photo of that earlier today, but I'm going to wait to post about that until just a bit later. Submission is in about a week, so I'm excited to have an entry!