This past fall, I started working on Miriam's cross-stitched Christmas stocking. It didn't get finished. In fact, it's not even a quarter of the way done. I figured she wouldn't mind...being only 7 months old and all.
Christmas has come and gone and it just doesn't seem right to work on that stocking right now. Christmas is soooo far away. That's a better project to pick up again next fall when the deadline of Christmas will spur me on.
The New Year means quilting to me. It seems as if every year at this time, I get the urge to start or pick up a quilting project. It might be because I love having a quilt-in-progress draped over my lap, keeping me very snug in our cold house. Making a quilt takes me a long time and I blame this squarely on my children. By the end of the day, it takes a lot of motivation to focus my eyes on small stitches. It's ironic, though, that in spite of them making me exhausted and unable to focus, it is for my children mainly that I quilt.
I am working on my fifth quilt. There are other quilts I've contributed to, at my Grammie's quilt frame when I was a little girl or in church at quilts to be auctioned off for relief.
The first quilt I made was for Jamey for his birthday or Christmas while we were still in college. My Grandma had a shoe box full of fabric squares that she had cut out and saved over the years. They were all the same size, about 3 inches x 3 inches. I sewed them together, adding batting and a back and finished it off by tying knots (with a lot of help from my mother). We still have that quilt, but the fabric squares I used were so old that with little wear they started to pull apart making the quilt quite fragile and therefore not very usable anymore. Lesson learned.
For my second quilt, I bought all new fabric. This one was for the baby Sam growing inside me. This quilt was a little larger than crib size and was very simple. Squares and rectangles pieced together with each side of each shape quilted. It was finished and folded over the back of the rocking chair in the nursery when we brought him home from the hospital. Over-achiever, yes, I was.
You can read this post about my Sadie girl's quilt which I just finished last year...when she was three years old. I started it while I was pregnant with her, piecing it rather quickly and then taking forever to quilt it. I enjoyed this one much more, using an actual quilt pattern with triangles and such (triangles were daunting to me for some reason).
While Sadie's quilt sat languishing in it's hoop, my mother and I conspired to make a quilt for my brother and his bride as a wedding gift. I picked out the fabric (my favorite part), chose the pattern and pieced the quilt, passing it off to my mother for her to quilt. It was hard giving that one away. Quilts are truly labors of love.
I was determined to start Miriam's in good time and have set some goals for myself. I started it while I was pregnant (last winter after New Year's) and, as of two weeks ago, have the top pieced. Not only do I want to have it finished by next Christmas but, I vowed to only use fabric I already have. This really shouldn't be difficult. I have a large plastic bin of leftover fabric from past projects, plus dozens and dozens of swatches from my dear friend and interior decorator, Laura.
Well...this post has become way longer than I intended it to be. So, instead of straining your tired eyes, I will continue this post another day when I'll give you some peeks at the top of Miriam's quilt and share some largely valuable quilt-piecing advice that I have gleaned from some very experienced quilters.