You know in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke is leaving Yoda and Obi-Wan on Dagobah to go save his friends on Cloud City? Yoda’s all “you must complete your training”, and Luke is all “I can’t get this vision out of my head!”, and the audience is all “dude, listen to Yoda” but he goes anyway and things turn out alright? That’s sort of how it was with this quilt. I didn’t totally realize how big of a deal/project it was, and women who have been sewing for awhile said I might want to practice a little more, or make a baby size quilt before taking on a real-deal quilt, but I had a vision and enough ambition and naivety to go for it anyway…
Things turned out alright 🙂
Just like with the duffle bag I made Michele, I watched a Craftsy class to expedite the process (watching someone go through the quilting motions as opposed to reading a book/looking at pictures really speeds up my learning process). If you’re new to sewing or crafting in general, Craftsy is an incredible resource. They bring in really great instructors and produce high-quality training videos to help you learn new techniques. It’s like having a girlfriend right beside you walking you through. There’s a great community of crafters posting their projects, and overall I just think it’s an awesome site. I’m not an affiliate and I’m not getting paid to make these statements, Craftsy is just badass. Plain as that.
Anyway, from the get-go I knew I’d be making this for my best friend, Megan. Something about making it for her totally put me in the right quilting spirit. Unlike bags, where flaws can be pretty apparent, (large) quilts can be more forgiving. Not to mention, this process was not a walk in the park. Challenging, exciting, and ambitious, yes, but easy? No way. Well, I guess it’s more that the process is long. And since I waited until two days before giving it to her to finish it, the process was intense. Think of the feeling in your back and shoulder muscles when you’re done shoveling snow after a few hours. I’m not even exaggerating. When I finished, my back and shoulders were on fire for three days, but sometimes I kind of like that soreness. The price of true, hard work. Delicious.
This close up starts to reveal some of the beginner mistakes; stitch lines not being centered, stitch lines falling off the edge of a piece, points not coming together at intersections, sashing not matching up, etc. In Megan’s card I wrote “This quilt is full of flaws, but so am I, and you love me.” As someone who really needs to keep their perfectionist tendencies in check, I surprisingly really love all the little flaws, because when you look at the quilt as a whole you truly don’t see them as flaws. They’re merely the pieces that make up the larger, beautiful picture.
Including the mistake where my rotary cutter drove right on through the middle of one of my squares, causing me to improvise to fill the spot. My solution was to hand embroider a square (another Craftsy class and creative first for me) that says “Love is a warm quilt.” Yes, I agree, twas the epitome of a ‘happy accident’.
She loved it, when she opened it. But to be honest, your friend makes you a quilt of your favorite colors, hand-embroiders you a cute square, and it’s the first one she ever made? I wasn’t really giving her a chance not to 🙂
When you put your love into it, no matter what the ‘it’ is, there really is no way it can go wrong.
Until next time
(P.S. I welcome (nice, kind, sweet, gentle, funny) punctuation advice)