Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The M-I-L Quilt

Last month, I finally finished a quilt for my mother-in-law. Mind you, this quilt has been in the works for quite some time. I purchased the fabric three years ago this past Spring, with the intention of making and of giving the quilt to her for Christmas that year. Needless to say, that didn't happen.

Back in March, I pulled the fabric out of my storage bin and began working on this quilt to present to her for Mother's Day. One week beforehand, the top was mostly finished, and after cutting the final pieces per the written instructions, I discovered I was 3.5" x 13" too short to complete the quilt top. Damn!

This particular quilt top was designed to use just three (3) yards of fabric, to minimize waste and facilitate the ease of constructing it. I had followed the instructions to the letter, cut each fabric as described and yet I was still short of fabric. Why you ask? Well, I quickly discovered that the designer had intended the long vertical pieces to be stitched together butted up against one another, right side to right side, one on top of the other. And if I had joined those strips in that manner, I would not have had any shortages.  But, I have been taught that to strengthen such long, narrow pieces, one should stitch them on a diagonal or miter to help minimize wear and stress on those seams.

So, what to do? There was no way to find the exact same fabric three years later. I had to scramble and find a close match, and rip out and re-sew the entire outside border, and then use that same fabric for the binding. To the average person, they will never see the difference. To me, and I'm certain to other quilters, it will be noticed. (That's Michel peeking out, like Wilson from "Home Improvement".)

I haven't mastered free-motion quilting, so
it's all straight line for now.
But alas, it is finished, and it looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. And it is the first quilt top I've made where ALL of the corners aligned properly and squarely. I attribute that to the machine - a 1947 Singer 201K that I picked up in the Spring. The entire quilt was pieced, quilted, and partially bound on this machine (I plan on featuring it in a post, just give me time). Even though the quilt design is simple, I am truly proud of the finished product and enjoyed making it, fabric shortage notwithstanding. I certainly hope MIL enjoys it as well. She lives on the Florida coast, and tends to be a bit cold natured in the wintertime. This should suit her nicely.

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