12.26.2013

A Christmas Quilt

So for the past few weeks I have been wanting to make a patchwork quilt. Yes I did say that.  Don't ask me why.  I'm 48 years old and that was what I was desiring.  (I think it's the after effects of watching Martha for so many years.)  Now here's the thing. . . I don't sew, nor do I really do anything on a sewing machine besides threading the needle and making a hem.
I originally wanted to find something on ebay or in one of my little antique stops.  I had it in my mind, it would have to have a white base, larger squares in soft faded like shades of red.  I wanted it to look vintage like and use it to add a tiny touch of Christmas for my bed.
On a trip to Mecca  I mean Pottery Barn, (hee hee) I found this little pillow.
It was actually what I needed to add a touch of the holidays.  Years past with my older bedroom set I adorned the bed in red toile and added garland, this year I wanted to keep it tranquil and quiet in white. My lovely blanket that my husband bought me for my birthday on our trip to Camden Maine was all I placed at the bottom of the bed.  (it has faded grey stripes and was hand made in Maine)
So It was done, I could relax. But unfortunately I couldn't.  I had the image of the quilt in mind.  On Dec 22 I took a trip to Joannes fabrics and walked through the various patterns and rolls of yards and yards of fabrics.  Don't know if I've ever shared this but my mom used to sew everything in our home and at least once or twice a month we would make a trip to our little fabric store where the ladies walked around with tape measure around their necks and their glasses dangling securely on a chain by their chest.  The long table where they unrolled the cardboard folded cartons that held the material made a thumping sound as they unrolled the yardage desired.  I'd marvel at how they grabbed enormous sheers and zip up the fabric cutting a perfect straight cut.  I used to play fabric ladies in my room as a young girl and here I am dreaming of making a patchwork quilt.  
Okay so I picked up three different colors and headed to the cutting area where a sweet lady asked me what I was making as she complimented me on my selections and asked me how many yards I needed.  
"Ummmmmm?"  I hesitated not knowing what to say to her, and then I blurted out, "I am trying to make a patchwork quilt but never have done it and really have no idea what I'm doing so if I mess up it's no big deal.  I'm just gonna wing it!"
She looked at me above her half placed glasses upon her nose and squinted at me above the rim and smiled.  
And then she said these miraculous words.  "I'm a huge quilter, have been since the age of 8.  Your in good hands."  
This woman not only took out a little calculator and paper and pen, measured, did mathematical equations, used the pythagorean theorem (okay just kidding a2 +b2 = c2)  (The things are mind retains I'll never understand.)
Anyway she so lovingly calculated and measured and drew up a plan for me.  My plan of action!
I had 13 squares all 8x5 in each color leaving half an inch all around for binding around.  I left there empowered, motivated and scared to death of my project, but being impulsive as I am I threw the fear into the wind and proceeded onward.  
Here is a photo documentation of my quest to make A Christmas Quilt.




Okay so everything looks good so far right?  Wrong.  When I lifted the quilt to take it downstairs and sew it together on the sewing machine after pinning each square in sections, it was like a tornado had hit.  Each piece dangling, parting, separating, it was crazy!
So after several attempts at pinning (7 to be exact) and at least 5 trips down the stairs carrying the quilt, I decided to sew by hand each piece first in long stiching, just enough to keep the squares in place so that I could sew it all together downstairs.  
Then I even experimented taking other sections, sewing them first and then adding it to the quilt.  I still don't know which would have been better.
Now I know that I probably made tons of mistakes so be advised
WARNING: IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL QUILTER WITH A WEAK HEART, YOU MIGHT WANT TO STOP READING!
When I sewed the squares together some edges began to fray and my stitching wasn't always straight.  Okay lets be honest, it was never straight.  
So I got another idea. I took another trip to Joannes (remember this is all in two days, and not full days, only during the hours I was able to have some time to myself)
I bought a white binding and thought this is how I'm going to cover my mistakes.  And it worked beautifully.  At least I think so.



So as I folded up this labor of love it came to me, I was going to give it as a Christmas gift to my son and his fiancee for their new home.  My son is forever covered on the couch with throws or quilts around the winter season.  I could see them taking it out and using it for Christmas either on the foot of their bed or on their sofa.  I was inspired.  I realized this was why I couldn't get it out of my head, it was to be their Christmas quilt.  
So I knew I had to do one more thing.

I'm not an embroiderer, or a quilter or a sewer, but I wanted to put a little personal mark on the quilt, personalize it and make it their own.  T for my son's name and L for his fiancee's and a very rustic little heart.  
I thought years to come they can take it out and remember the simple gift their mother and mother in law had made for them with love one Christmas and even long after I am gone, it might remind them of how much I loved them.  
After all. . . isn't that what Christmas is all about.  Giving from the heart.
xoxo
Lisa



3 comments :

Marilyn said...

I think you did a beautiful job. More importantly, it is a gift from your heart. In other words, it is priceless!

You've created a very special heirloom.

If it's not too late, could you perhaps add your initials and the date?

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Brenda said...

I would never tackle a project like this, but you go fearlessly ahead. Good for you! It looks good, and your son and future DIL will treasure this special gift from you.

Katie Mansfield said...

It is adorable. What a wonderful gift. I may just have to make one next year. It is so cute.
Katie
Let's Add Sprinkles

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...