I made something approximating a quilt. It took me 8 years.

I originally began it on a whim when I was pregnant with Aleks. I was all, "I'm going to make my baby a quilt!" I decided it was to be a crazy quilt. I can't even sew in a straight line, nor do I have the patience to. I underestimated what a crazy quilt requires. I got an area of about 35 by 33 inches and gave up. Couldn't figure out what to do with it. Added a border very poorly. That may have been a year later.

Several years after that, I got the idea to start adding on, to make it bigger. Thought I'd give it to my grandmother who was in a nursing home after a car accident. Didn't happen. Added squares, didn't know what to do with the crappy border. Gave up some more. It sat around. My grandmother died.

Then I pulled it out again, thought I'd make it for a Christmas present for my mom and step dad. Still didn't know what to do about that non-flat border thing. Added more squares. Got tired. Quit. This happened several years in a row around Christmas. I bought batting and flannel for the backing. Added squares. Got tired. Put it away again.

It was supposed to be king-sized by then. King-sized is really, really big. Then my mother switched around her beds and now she sleeps in a full again. So I figured I could stop where I was and add the backing and batting and quilt it and be done. Well, that's actually a lot of work. It's been on my to-do list for a few years now. Well, like 6, but off and on for different reasons, clearly. So, maybe 1 or 2 as a finish-as-the-size-it-is project.

What spawned me to actually pull it out and try it this time? I needed more family cloth wipes. I had these towels that were falling apart and wanted to add flannel to one side. I didn't want to buy flannel and haven't made it to the thrift store to pick up old flannel pjs, but I knew there was a whole lotta flannel taking up space in my closet. I figured finishing the quilt would give me enough leftover to make toilet paper. For real.

So I finished the quilt in time for the occasion of my mother's 55th birthday yesterday. I pulled it out on Sunday and got the backing all added and everything sewn up. Then finished going back and forth over all the uneven border bits with the machine on Monday. Added leaves to make it look like a vine, or in some way at all intentional. It worked. Then Monday night, I sewed up some more toilet cloths, then finished knitting a baby hat. Then started on another baby hat yesterday after presenting my mother with her quilt. She liked it a lot. It really does sort of look like a quilt too. Even if it is all uneven and weird. I figure it's good enough. I've seen those Gee's Bend quilts and this is no worse than some of them (though certainly no better than many), if not as awesome and folksy.

It's actually on a king-sized bed here, but just goes to the edge, so on a full/queen, will be perfect and larger than store-bought quilts.
Off-center stitching.

Little leaf.

Lots of the fabrics came from things taking up space around my mother's house for the past several decades.

This is my favorite fabric in the bunch - some random scrap my mom had that was busy doing nothing in a box somewhere.
This pretty flannel backing now matches my toilet paper.


debra said...

It's what a quilt is, Anna, a tapestry of the maker's life at that time. My mother-in-law is a quilter. When my husband was a baby, she started a quilt for him. Then she lost the squares. She found them when my daughters, now almost 22 and 18, were littles. And she finished it for them. There is a sweetness to that, I think. And such it is with quilts.

Chrissy Johnson said...

Oh Anna Kiss - your mama is a lucky mama.