I think I've made six full- or queen-size patchwork quilts in the past twenty years. All of them are made of squares or rectangles, very simple. The squares just call to me. I doubt I'll ever make any other kind of quilt. I never say never, but I just doubt it.
I hadn't made a quilt in several years, when suddenly, two summers ago, I had the urge. So it started here, with fabric, and the question, "Why can't the world be like the fabric store?" Which is something I'm still wondering about.
I finished the top pretty quickly . . .
. . . but I totally pooped out when it came time to finish it. The top sat, folded on alone on the shelf, for two years until Thursday, when I had the urge to finish it. I don't know why I have been so darn industrious lately, right? I've finished more stuff for myself in the past month than I have in a year or more. Very weird. I'm power-crafting on a personal level.
On Sunday, I finished it! Yippee! I put some new pillowcases on the pillows to celebrate (the blues are vintage, the pinks are Target, and please check my FAQ page for info on paint colors and slippers and stuff like that). Then I smoothed the quilt out on the bed.
I backed it with pale-yellow-with-gold-dots cotton, and bound it with a sort of terra-cotta orange calico, with tiny yellow-ish flowers. I tied it every four inches (the quilt is 22 by 23 four-inch squares) with six strands of bright red embroidery floss. I absolutely love terra-cotta with red, like a potted geranium.
So, there's this moment when you're making a quilt, the best moment: the one where you take it out of the dryer. It is the best feeling. Please make yourself a quilt, just so you can hug that warm, puckered softness to your chest and feel very accomplished and proud.
Because finishing a quilt doesn't feel like anything else. I don't really know how to describe it. It's kind of a major undertaking. I know that, by quilting standards, the quilts I like couldn't be simpler or less sophisticated, but honestly, no matter how you slice it (literally) — it's a big, big project. When I see really fancy quilts on the blogs or at the fabric store or at the fair, I literally stand pigeon-toed and in complete awe, because if you've ever finished one, you know that, well . . . they don't make themselves.
It helps to remember that the finishing part — making the quilt sandwich, getting it all laid out, pinning it all together, basting the edges, attaching the binding (which I purchased — and by the way, does anyone know of a good source for pre-cut cotton quilt binding, not the packaged stuff but the stuff on the spool?), flipping it over and stitching it down by hand, then tying, tying, tying, tying . . .
. . . tying, tying, tying . . .
— takes as long as finishing the front, if not longer. At least, that's how long it takes me.
But it's worth it. I think I'll make some more. Can you have too many? Don't think so.