Friday, April 18, 2008

Lessons From A Quilt

Ta-Dah! That's a Molly Bawn drum roll. An insipid little squawk I realise, but it marks a momentous occasion. I finally finished "the star quilt" for my Little Grandson. I'll be accepting pats on the back at the end of this post! I started this quilt when LG was born. This summer he will be four. Yes, I am suitably ashamed, though, in my defense, it should be noted that I did make him an interim, machine-stitched quilt, so he wouldn't be quiltless!

But now it's really finished! It's even in the mail. At the post office yesterday, the man behind the counter asked if I'd like to insure my package. Hummph! I've heard some horror stories of quilts made by friends being lost in the mail. For items made by hand the only compensation one gets is replacement of the materials used! How would you even begin to put a price on something stitched with love for a small boy, son of someone who was once your small boy? I decided to take my chances.

Four years is a long time. In my grandson's case, it's a lifetime! In that lifetime, making this quilt for him, I learned some lessons, some of them quilt related, some totally not.

I learned that---

I love figuring out new patterns and techniques.

That piecing goes quickly for me.

That things slow down at the layering stage,

And barely crawl at the basting stage. Yawn!

That even the most daunting journey/intimidating quilt is made one step/stitch at a time.

That there’s good reason to use black batting on a dark quilt---what was I thinking?

That a black quilt and a white cat should not be left in the same room together,

Because, the white cat is fatally attracted to the black quilt.

That masking tape is a white-cat-owning-quilter’s best friend.

That nobody calls you at four a.m. to give you good news.

That only a lunatic would do this much hand quilting on a quilt for a small child.

That by the time all the hand quilting is done the child will no longer be small.

That what I have to say is not always as important as listening to what someone else has to say.

That I should never say “It’s almost finished,” because, the quilting gods/goddesses will hear and punish me for excessive optimism.

If my mouth is closed my foot cannot be inserted therein.

If I didn’t blog I’d get a lot more quilting done.

If I didn’t quilt I’d get a lot more blogging done.

If I didn’t blog or quilt I’d read more.

If I didn’t blog, quilt or read, my house would be much cleaner.

If I didn’t do any of the above, I’d have to shoot myself, and then it wouldn’t matter.

Lest the quilt seem too staid for a small boy, I used this playful fabric for the backing. Since I love how Erma Bombeck compares children to kites, it seemed fitting. What I would like more than anything is to see my son's face when he sees the quilt. It's taken me so long, he thinks it's just a story I tell, this Star quilt, a figment of my imagination.

But it is no figment.

It's REAL and it's FINISHED!


daysgoby said...

It's beautiful!

And you sent it to him through the mail - like two presents in one!

Getting packages is wonderful, isn't it?

A really, really beautiful thing you made, Molly.

meggie said...

What a fantastic post!! What a fantastic quilt!!
I love it all, & the kites are such fun, they are sure to be loved, & examined in detail.

He will treasure this forever I am sure. My small Grandson wont let his mother retire any of the quilts I have made for him. Even his little cot quilt.

Stomper Girl said...

*pats Molly's back heartily*

How could he ever be too old for that quilt? It is gorgeous. I hope the camera is ready at the other end for the great unwrapping!

Ali Honey said...

Bravo! Bravo! - can you hear me yelling. It's finished ; it's wonderful, it's a work of art. Hand quilted is great! I love both sides and it certianly was worth waiting for; he will appreciate it more at this age.

I'm so glad you don't spend all your time doing housework. I think quilting, blogging and reading are all equally satisfying,and worthwhile - so keep doing them all.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Molly! It's beautiful!!! WAHOO!!! Do you feel like screaming? Dancing? What a wonderful job. I loved reading and laughing at your hard learned lessons! Bravo!

Kacey said...

Absolutely gorgeous! What a lucky little boy! I love the backing, too, and have a special store with bolts and bolts of childrens' fabrics. You think four years is a long time? I put up some of my quilts today and the last one (a super king size) is seven years in the works and waiting for me to finish hand quilting the border. It is complicated, but the worst part of quilting is marking the quilt for stitching.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

Oh, Molly. How lucky one is to be loved by you! The fact that it took four years, an entire lifetime, fills that quilt with so much more love. It makes me weep with happiness to think of your son's face when he sees this quilt.

Anonymous said...

WOW. What a stunner. You must be so proud of it. He'll appreciate it much more at 4 than he would have as a tiny baby.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear molly. I'm in awe. I can't sew anything to save my life. It's lovely - i'm Well Impressed with your talent! Congrats!

riseoutofme said...

Its a beautiful quilt, Molly. But then we expect nothing less from you.
Following in the nuns tradition here .... never too lavish with the praise .. it might go to your head! Your 2 boys will love it.

Like the kites.

Suse said...

It's real, it's finished, and it's a MASTERPIECE.


Tanya Brown said...

This is spectacular. I love the pairing of clear colors with black fabric. I'll bet your grandson is going to be tickled to death. Your quilting is stunning. You did the quilting by hand? Wow. I'm pretty sure that qualifies one for a patience award or something.

eastcoastdweller said...

Congratulations and nice job!

I've never quilted but I know it's one of those things that looks a whole hell of a lot easier than it actually is.

Dr.John said...

Congratulations. My wife started one for my son when he was born. He is married and has children and it isn't finished yet.

tsduff said...

Because, the white cat is fatally attracted to the black quilt.

Ha ha - I never dreamed one could learn so much from making a quilt! Very true.

fifi said...

I have something for you, come by on Moday for it.

Your quilt is gorgeous! How clever you are!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's gorgeous on both sides. Truly a masterpiece.

Just looking at it makes me happy, so your little grandson should live in bliss every day of his life. Which I hope he does, anyway.

Thank you for sharing this instead of cleaning your house.

seventh sister said...

Congratulations! Having done a little quilting myself, I know that this was a huge job. It turned out beautifully.

sMC said...

Just catching up Moly. A stunning quilt he needed to be four for this one :) You put my thoughts into words so ably. Big Pat on Back coming yout way.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That is a fantastic starburst!
LOVE it.

So, when could I expect mine? sometime before fall? Burgundy, please.

What a precious gift, for a precious boy, designed especially to wrap him up in all your love and devotion.

You are a saint. Are you looking for a girl and her lion to adopt?


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

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