Saturday, December 14, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Sixteen years of sewing, finally done!

[This deserves a little more than six words for the sake of the back-story.]

When I started this quilt in 1996, I didn't know how to sew (and I still don't).  I had a few raggedy flannel shirts, and thought, "It would be cool to make a quilt."  If you look at the squares, you''ll see a green and blue paid with a few threads of yellow.  That belonged to Mike Ehlenfeldt, my high school boyfriend.  The brown and black buffalo plaid, and the pale green with weird little brown squares were Simon's.  I found the rest in rag bags and thrift stores.  Then, I saw an instruction manual in a handicraft store:  Make an Irish Chain in a Day.  Pfffft.  It assumed that the reader would actually own a sewing machine, a rotary cutter or have a clue.  I sure didn't.  But I looked at the pictures and thought, "I can figure this out".

Experienced sewers!  You would be shocked.  I made the squares by cutting out a piece of cardboard the right size and tracing around it, then cutting it out with a pair of scissors.  Many, many times.  Then I bought a spool of blue thread and a book needles and got started.  Tiny, tiny stitches in the evening after supper.  My cousin suggested that I get a ruler, a rotary cutter and a mat - thank goodness I did!  I remember sewing for hours and hours in 1996, after I had a miscarriage and needed to ward away misery.  I remember cutting the dark blue strips for the border the day Sara was born.

I rarely worked it after I had the kids, but I would have little spurts of productivity.  I asked for a sewing machine a few years ago, thinking that would speed the process.  By that time, I just needed to sew the borders on; but I didn't know how to use a sewing machine, so nothing happened.

Chuck is a good sewer.  When we started our relationship and he found out about this project, he insisted that I get the quilt back out, set up the machine at his place (my apartment was too small) and finish it up.  He taught me the basics of how to use the machine.

And here we are, at last.

Now there are other challenges.  I need to make a back.  I need to choose and piece together batting.  I need to make all the layers lie smooth.  I need to either quilt it or tie it.  I need to trim and bind the edges.  I have no idea how to do any of those things.  I'll figure it out.

Then, I will do things in a more ordinary progression and learn to make something SANE, like a tote bag or something!

Although I have this vision of a crazy quilt that is sort of fabric art and represents all the things I love to look at in my woodland home...

...or a tote bag...


  1. I love this story for so many reasons. . . thank you for sharing!

  2. It looks great.
    My mum started knitting me a cardigan in 1973. She never finished it and I guess she doesn't see any point in finishing, seeing as I'm 40 now and it wouldn't fit me.