Oh my! Has it really been that long since I blogged? August has been and gone in the blink of an eye and I’m still waiting for the computer to wake up. In my defense, it was summer, one of the best we’ve had for a long time, and what’s August for if not long, lazy days and holidaying in France.
I came back from Paris itching to sew. It was bad enough that it had almost been 2 weeks since I turned on my machine, but for that machine to be a brand-spanking-new-barely-out-of-the-box machine, well, there were buttons I was just dying to press! I have a list as long as my arm of things I need to catch up on, most pressingly my #NGAGB blocks, which I’m currently 3 months behind. I hope to put foot to the ground and peddle my way through those in the coming week, as well continuing to work on a few other projects I have on the go. I’ll share more of those with you soon, but first let me show you all something that was finished before I went on holiday.
We recently had a new addition to the family. The BF’s sister gave birth to a little girl last month, quite the curiosity for her 2 brothers, and, rather than buy a gift, he wanted to make her a quilt. I was excited when he asked if I would show him the basics. My mind immediately thought ‘fabric shopping trip’ but hopes were instantly dashed when he asked to browse my stash to see if there was anything there he might like. So we ascended to the attic where I nervously watched him purvey the shelves.
“This is nice,” he said, picking up a piece of my coveted Heather Ross Mendocino.
“Oh, there’s not enough of that to do anything worthwhile with,” I blurted out, before hastily pushing the fabric to the back. “You can choose anything from here, look, all of this, look how pretty it is!”
I’d successfully averted his gaze from Tula Pink, Architextures and Botanics, and whilst he picked pinks and purples prints from the shelves I’d sanctioned, I couldn’t help wondering if I was a terrible person. That lasted about 5 secs.
It’s mine, my precious!
After flicking through the pages of a few quilt books, he decided upon a square in a square block, opting to keep it simple as he lost his quilting virginity. Working together wasn’t all plain sailing. We disagreed on fabric, size and block layout. It was hard for me to step back and remember that this was his quilt and it had to be made his way. But I persevered and slowly it came together. I gave him a quick tour of the machine and he got to work; cutting (though not all of it), sewing blocks (“this part is boring!”) and even messing around on the design wall. My inner improvisationalist wanted random, and had to sit tight-lipped as he attempted a more formal arrangement. After a few tweaks we came up with a layout we were both happy with, and he sewed the blocks together. At the end of the day we had a completed top without tears, bloodshed or any fabric casualties. Hooray!
The following morning we basted, made possible by my willingness to relinquish a piece of fabric I’d been saving for a backing of my own, before taking it in turns to quilt the top. We choose a pre-set design, one of the nice features of the new machine, and the whole quilt took about 2 hours, allowing for tea breaks. It surprised me that we’d got to the binding stage without the need for any shopping. I got thinking about how much fabric I actually have and how many quilts there are waiting to be made on those shelves. Though there were some binding options, he wanted a deep purple, but that was the only thing bought. A quick hand sewing session once at his parents saw the quilt done and ready to be gifted.
I really enjoyed giving him a glimpse into, up until then, a world I rarely shared with him. It was fun watching from a distance, seeing how he pulled fabric (often haphazardly with complete disregard for my folding) and arranged the blocks. I’m not sure if he’s caught the bug but I definitely saw a smile of satisfaction as he admired his completed quilt. Would I do it again…hmmmmm…perhaps!