Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Finished Quilt!!

 I hate keeping secrets.  I'm really no good at it, simply because I forget that that particular little factoid in my brain is not meant to be shared.  You've all been warned! ;-)

But when I work on a project which is meant for someone who follows me on social media, I HAVE to keep it secret.  Why?  Several reasons:
1. Surprises are fun for the recipients.  Am I right!?!
2. I don't like crafting under pressure.  If I know the recipient is "watching" my progress, it freaks me out.  
3.  I feel guilty if I post that I'm working on anything but that gift project.  And I always have multiple projects going at any given time, and I jump around depending on how I feel that day. 
4.  I don't want the recipient to feel like they have a vote in the creation process.  Like they may make a suggestion that isn't possible, or is a terrible idea, or I disagree with.  Can you say awkward?
5.  Because I'm my own worst critic, I sometimes "complain" about the projects I'm working on.  You know, like, "OMG, this block is so wonky, but whatever, I'm not re-doing it" or "I hate this quilt, it's sucking the life out of me and I want to burn it to ashes".  I could see how that could take the magic out of it for the recipient.
6.  I may change my mind about the project, chuck it altogether, and decide to make something else, perhaps causing confusion and disappointment on the part of the recipient who may have been looking forward to the original. 
7.  I may fall in love with the crafty item and decide to keep it for myself, and then just give a store-bought gift ;-).  This actually hasn't happened, but I've been really close!  

I can also see an upside, in that the recipient would actually be able to get a sense of just how much time goes into their hand-made gift.  But, really, if I'm making someone something, it's because I'm fairly certain that person is the type who will appreciate it.

Anywoo, I made a quilt for my sister-in-law.  SIL is a writer, so I know she understands the creative process.  And she's a deep thinker/feeler, which are always appreciative types too.  She's a cool peep who has done some creatively brave stuff, so she's getting a quilt!  So I bought coffee fabric with her in mind, because she LOVES coffee.  Cool, done, I'll make her some kind of quilt for her birthday with this lovely fabric.  Then, on Facebook, she hinted, not so broadly, that she would like a bookshelf quilt.  

But I didn't WANT to make a bookshelf quilt.  But, duh, it would be perfect for her.  Fine.  After agonizing over the style and design, I came up with an idea; not too realistic, not too abstract.  

Back. Don't worry, she LOVES the skulls!
I like how it came out, and I learned a lot with this one!  I dove into my stash for the fabric, and had to figure out color combos, which I am horrible at doing.  I like things super matchy-matchy, so finding contrasting "zinger" colors is really challenging.  So here are some process pics:
Choosing fabric

First blocks!

I finished the top after I got my new Grace SR-2 quilt frame, so I had to practice on the frame before even thinking of putting this baby on it to quilt.  
First time trying feathers!  So fun!
Even my little Trev gave it a try:

So I finally convinced myself that I could at least do a loopy meander, since I really needed to get this thing DONE!  Loaded it up, took a deep breath, and off I went:

So of course there are a few mistakes, which were part of the learning curve on where my quilt space limits are, and figuring out how to not trap myself :-).  I also discovered some pretty gnarly thread loops on the under-side AFTER the quilt was off, so I was upset about that, and had to go back to fix those by hand.  Still not sure what caused those, since they were sporadically spaced and there was no indication of trouble of the top.  Hopefully SIL doesn't notice them.  

So I mailed this bad boy off (late for her birthday, so it was sure to be a surprise), and when she received it, she posted an awesome FB post with a bunch of pics, and it made me tear up knowing how happy it had made her!  Woo hoo, mission accomplished!! :-)

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