Though the title of this post makes it sound like I am about 5 years old, I began this quilt a few decades later.
It was fall of 2012 and both my daughters were about to go away to college (one for the second time), and I thought it might be nice to make them each a quilt to take with them. So, after living in Napa for nearly 20 years, I finally wandered into the local quilt shop to see about taking a class.
After seizing upon this brilliant idea, Howard was assigned to a job in Los Angeles, about 500 miles away, so I decided I’d make a quilt for him first.
The only classes available at the LQS at the time were for a Bargello quilt (a little past my skill level) and one called Girl Power ~ basically 12″ squares of a single fabric surrounded by lots of different sashing. I figured I could make it masculine by using Parson Gray’s debut line of fabrics in blues, greens and grays.
Unfortunately, the shop only had a few of the fabrics in gray/beige/taupe colorways. I went ahead and bought them even though I was less than enamored, and took the class.
I’ve been sewing since I was 11, so the hardest part of the process, really, was getting used to a 1/4″ seam allowance. The instructor was great at teaching all the basic quilting skills, so I learned a lot, though I didn’t finish very much during the class.
The trouble was that I disliked the pattern – it really called for a feature print – and the fabrics themselves. I really, really wanted to put it aside and begin a new quilt, but I made myself finish this one first. Mostly because I knew I’d never pick it back up again if I didn’t.
When I finished the quilt top and showed it to Howard, his response was, “Oh, that will be so … warm.” Faint praise indeed.
I made a pieced backing, quilted the whole thing on my Bernina using straight line and wavy line stitching , and made my first binding.
During the time that I procrastinated and cursed this quilt, both girls left for college, Howard went from Los Angeles to a job in Eureka, and I grew another year older.
Howard currently calls this “my useful quilt” and someday, I hope to make him one that he calls beautiful.
WHAT I LEARNED
√ To sew a 1/4″ seam;
√ To sew point to point in order to match seams properly;
√ Not to use a fabric or a pattern I don’t absolutely love – or at least like;
√ That I don’t like large outside borders;
√ Not to use spray baste in the house (despite multiple moppings, our dining room floor was a sticky mess for weeks);
√ The dining room table is a much better place to quilt than the sewing table;
√ Even a small throw quilt weighs 2 tons when you’re resting it on your shoulder like a floppy cotton bazooka and trying to wrestle it through the small throat of a home sewing machine.
Till next time,