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Finally Finished!

June 6, 2011

The story of this quilt began more than a year ago.  And while I’d like to say that it was my oldest work in progress, that’s just not quite true. I have two that are a few months older, but they should be done and delivered before the end of the month.  Yay!  Anyway, back to this project.

hanging out

Scott’s dad passed away last May, and I decided to make quilts out of his clothes for Scott and his brother and sister.  I started Scott’s quilt back in September.  It was supposed to be done for his birthday, but I handed him a box with 1/3 a quilt top and a pile of squares.  I finished the top in October, and the plan was to have it completely finished for Christmas, but his got put off so I could get the two others finished.

quilt front and back

[ I love the sunflare on this photo! Yay for photo shoots near sunset! ]

I pieced the back together and actually got the quilting on this finished back in April. The backing is a green plaid heavy twill/duck cloth/light canvas.  This quilt is more for picnics and lounging at the park than for cuddling on the couch (though it’s big enough to put on a queen size bed).  But I didn’t have enough of the green plaid to do the whole thing, so I had to add a strip of scraps to make it work.  And the fact that the plaids line up so well considering the back is made up of 15 different pieces of fabric?  Do you want to know what that is called?  Dumb luck.  I literally have a scrap 10″x6″ of the green plaid leftover.  Pure dumb luck!  Anyway,  Scott’s mom teaches highschool sewing and she has a long arm machine in her classroom.  So in April I went up on a Friday afternoon and she showed me the ropes and I got started.  I went back early Monday morning to finish before her students arrived.  And guess what, long arm quilting was awesome and awful all at the same time.  If I had more practice I can see myself loving it.  But without any practice before I jumped right in I was frustrated at not being able to make myself do what I had in my head.

quilt front

Of course in a photo you can’t see all the things that I see wrong with it up close, and I’m certainly not going to point them all out.  It was my first quilt I’ve ever done start to finish (this little doll quilt was my second, or first, depending on how you look at it).  It was also my first time using a long arm machine, and all things considered, I think it’s pretty freaking awesome.  My good friend Tracey says that if you can’t see a mistake riding by on a horse then it doesn’t really matter.  I’m trying to remind myself that in these pictures it looks just fine.  But I might need to put it away in a closet for a while so I can stop looking at all my beginners mistakes.  It’s fine, it’s finished, and Scott loves it, which is all that matters.

quilt binding

I made my binding (I don’t do bias bindings, I think it’s a waste of good fabric) and got it all sewed on a few weeks ago.  I’ve just been waiting for a good long movie to get the handwork finished up.  But today I sat on the couch for about 5 hours with my ipod instead (good movie hasn’t arrived yet, boo on you Netflix) to stitch down the binding and to do a little embroidery on the back.

quilt label

I should have done the embroidered label on the backside BEFORE I quilted the whole thing together.  But I didn’t really think about that at the time.  My friend Elizabeth embroiders all her labels, and hers always look so pretty.  Mine kind of looks like a kindergarten kid wrote it out.  But I’m fine with it.  Working with a finished quilt, and trying not to have any stitches show through on the front side gave me a few challenges I hope to avoid next time.  My label just has Scott’s dad’s name, his birthday, his death date and a “made by” line.  I was going to add Scott’s name to it too, but I was pretty much sick of stitching by that point and scratched that idea.  Maybe later…. but probably not.   It was a good learning experiencea nd I am really glad that I have a label on there, but it will probably drive me nuts everytime I look at it.  I guess it’s a good thing it’s on the back, right?

sitting on the quilt

So my quilt is far from perfect, but I’m happy with it.  If I counted up the number of mistakes and divided it by it’s number of square inches, 90inches x 90 inches = 8,100 inches, I think mathematically I’m still coming out ahead.  The quilt is not going to fall apart, the squares on the front are mostly straight and I will probably be the only one who notices all the things that are “wrong”.  And, really it’s going to be a great place for summer picnics, perfect to cuddle up under the stars, and a cushy seat for our Monday night softball games.  And that part is more important than anything else. (Also, can I just point out something hilarious about the above photo?  OK, underneath her little striped dress she is wearing what appears to be a pair of pink ruffle edged shorts.  Nope, those are pants that she wore when shew as just 2 weeks old.  My 2.5 year old is wearing a pair of her newborn size pants that are part of her newborn sized babydolls wardrobe. And they fit her just fine in the waist, and make a cute pair of bermuda length shorts now.  She puts them on All. The. Time.)

on the quilt

I don’t think I stressed enough the very best part of this whole memory quilting thing, it’s finally finished.  Finally, finally finished! Yay!  I  I have two tiny little arms to stuff and sew onto a little dog for Creamie (I made little stuffed animals for all three little girls, and one big girl)  and I will be done with this chapter of sewing projects.  Finally.

Next up is making a few new skirts for me.  I hate everything in my closet and I don’t wear shorts so a few new summer skirts are going to be very important. Happy Monday!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2011 1:15 am


    It is awesome! You did such a beautiful job and I love that you added the embroidery tag. Give yourself some credit — I’m pretty sure it was really hard doing it on a completed quilt. I think it looks really great! The whole quilt is really thoughtful and special and you did a really, really nice job on it. Congrats and yay for you!

    xo -E

    P.S. You and I are going to have to talk about bias binding. I know a really cool no-waste method.

  2. June 6, 2011 4:20 am

    That is an amazing quilt, you did a really good job and it looks perfect to me! Such a lovely idea too, to make a quilt from Scott’s dad’s clothes, I wish I had done something similar when my grandad passed away.

    I love that I have found your blog, it is great!

  3. Linda Mae permalink
    June 6, 2011 6:05 am

    I get your no-reply emails..have no idea how I first happened on your site. But anyway, you are sweet, funny, busy, and rather amazing. I love how enthusastic you are..which, I think, is half of having fun and getting anything done in life. Keep being imperfect, as there is no such thing as perfect. When we try to be Perfect, we get stuck and nothing gets done at all. Keep having fun with your daughter and hubby and your hobbies. Linda

  4. Karina Viertel permalink
    June 6, 2011 8:05 am

    Awesome! those are the kind of presents that are the most memorable!

  5. June 6, 2011 8:31 am

    Awesome, I love the back!


  6. June 6, 2011 9:18 am

    I love the photos of Scott and Creamie. This memory quilt is beyond awesome – for all that it represents for Scott and your family, for the orderly layout of repeated squares on the diagonal, for it’s sheer SIZE and the fact that you were brave enough to roll it onto a longarm and GO for it! Congratulations e, you’ve done a very, very excellent thing.

  7. June 6, 2011 10:40 am

    such a great job and such gorgeous pictures!
    This quilt is a labor of love, and so special, and really beautiful too. It makes me emotional every time I see it.

  8. June 6, 2011 10:57 am

    It’s got to feel great to be finished! What a special gift, e. Well done!

  9. kirsten elkins permalink
    June 6, 2011 12:38 pm

    oh i love it! it turned out perfectly! and of course your photos are always darling. good job! you rock.

  10. June 6, 2011 1:01 pm

    Way to go! It turned out awesome and I’m sure it will be a cozy, special quilt for a very long time. I’m also loving Creamie’s little Oliver + S quilt!! SO cute! (I’m so wishing I had got more of those little mini-charm packs, but I didn’t feel like I was legit enough to take them. I only got one (French General – okay but not my favorite). Now I wish I had more. 🙂

    Let’s sew sometime this summer. Maybe when Amylouwho comes?

  11. June 6, 2011 8:21 pm

    I know how great you are feeling right about now! And your quilt is beautiful and so worth every minute you put in to it. The :Pattern” – is my favorite and the only quilt pattern I use. I really enjoy the diagonal march of repeated fabric squares across the quilt surface.

    This quilt must be a treasure for your sweetie as it holds memories of a loved one past and was made by the woman and wife he dearly loves.

    The first photo is fabulous – I hope you will have it enlarged and printed and framed. Well done you!

  12. Sarah permalink
    June 8, 2011 4:11 am

    You did a great job!! The quilt is beautiful! I cannot imagine having the ability to do that, you should be proud of yourself!

    Thanks for all the great posts!

  13. June 8, 2011 8:43 am

    I love your quilt. It is perfect! Way to tackle the longarm. And to your comment on the newborn pants…I totally do that too! My girl is sporting her 6 month old pants under her now 2 year old dresses. I got a nice chuckle that someone else does that too.

  14. September 8, 2011 12:06 am

    Hi Pink,

    Loved the quilt. I would love to do this for my baby who is just one year old.


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