Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Time to Finish

When I was around 15 or so we were at my Grandma Hulsey's house (pictured here with my younger brother)

Grandma was working on a quilt. Well, Grandma was always working on a quilt or something, but this quilt caught my eye and I decided I wanted to make one like it. So Grandma copied the pattern on a piece of tracing paper for me. She also gave me a some of the pieces that she had already cut out and a block to sew them onto. It was a lovely patchwork of a tulip garden.

Here is the pattern she gave me.

See how she wrote the instructions in the right hand corner for me?
Here is the pattern when I made it darker so you could see it better.

Here is the block she gave me with the pieces she gave me pinned to it ready to sew. 
The stem pieces are supposed to be green ric-rac.

Over the years I cut, and cut, and cut leaves
and everytime I made something or just found
remnants I liked, I would cut and cut and cut tulips.
Until I figured I had enough for a quilt.

Then life got busy and I went to college, got married, had kids
and the quilt was put in my craft box and then later my sewing room
unfinished pile.
I figured someday I would get enough material for the blocks
and finish it.
That day never came and life buffeted me around and finishing
a quilt was buried, not only in my sewing pile, but the far
recesses of my mind.
Until earlier this spring.
Grandma was ill and I realized that she was in her 90s
and I wanted to finish my quilt before she didn't have another birthday.
I am sure she finished her quilt decades ago.
She's like that.
Finishing what she starts.

(and lest you think I don't finsih what I start
I have made 10-12 quilts in the last few years- started and finished and used)

Anyway, I dug through my unfinished sewing pile- and discarded things I had
no intention of ever finishing-
and found my bag of tulips and leaves.

I verified that I had enough for the size quilt I wanted.

I did need to cut about 30 more tulips and about 40 more leaves
So I went to the fabric store and got some pretty fat quarters and cut and cut and cut.

Walmart had some pretty sheets for $15 so I got a white one for the blocks and a pretty polka dot one for the backing.

I unpicked the hemming and washed the white sheet and sent the polka dot one to the sewing room to wait.
(and when I was ready for it, I couldn't find where the child had stored it
until I had gone to the store and purchased a brown one, because I changed my mind
about the color scheme for my room)

When I sat down to cut the blocks out, I really did not want to cut them all out.
No, I had an idea of a way to update the pattern and not use ric-rac
because I didn't have any green ric-rac, or money to get some
but I did have a new sewing machine with oodles of cool design stitches.

So I marked the squares on my white material,
threaded my machine with my green thread
and stitched all my stems with this cool lacy, leafy looking stitch.

Then I sewed on all the leaves.

Then the tulips.

And last week I finished the top.

I laid it out on my bed and took a couple pictures so you could see it.

All that is left is to put it on the quilting frames and quilt it.
Or baste it together and quilt it with the sewing machine.
That will depend on what job I get and how soon I want to use it.
I am leaning toward the sewing machine.
Except somehow the backing sheet is a different size than the top sheet.
Even though they both said "King" on the label.
Remember that polka dot sheet I lost and later found stashed?
I think I will edge the bottom sheet with it to make them the same size
and it will make a pretty border when I turn it over to bind the quilt.

Sometimes mistakes and misplaced items works out.

Hopefully I'll have a finished quilt for you to see before Grandma's next birthday.
(and the block Grandma gave me to get me started? It is going to be
a throw pillow for my bed)



ShazBraz said...

pretty. can't wait to see the finished product.

tawnya said...

Wanna come quilt mine?