Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eating an Elephant

Hi Everyone!

Have you heard that joke about How do you eat an Elephant?

Click to viewAnswer: One bite at a time.

 Well I am eating my elephant  er, quilting my quilt, one bite stitch at a time.  It does seem like an elephant, it is an enormous quilt!  It's been years since I have attempted to hand quilt anything and now I find myself with needle and thread in hand. It is so ridiculous to even THINK about this gigantic task before me, hence the elephant joke.  I hope you don't think that is in poor taste. 

Do you have a few spare minutes? I'll tell you the story of the gigantic quilt.  It all started about 19 years ago <cringe> on Labor Day weekend when my BFF came down for her first visit to our new home in south FL.  We had just moved here in June and I was SO excited to have my friend come for the long weekend and to start this new quilt project (back then we were both into quilting BIG time). We cut and we sewed and we put together blocks all weekend, and almost had the queen-sized top completed.  Eventually she went home and I continued to work to finish the blocks needed to finish the project.  

Fast forward another eight years.....My daughter has bought her very first home and I'm thinking I'll make her a quilt as a housewarming present when I stumble across the quilt in the closet and asked her if she might like it.  She loves the colors and we measure her bed, I add more blocks to increase the size. Then she gets a new bed and it is higher and the quilt needs borders and she asks if could I incorporate some brown into it??  LOL!   Oh sure, I add the borders (and brown fabric as requested) and then.......

Fast forward another two years.....daughter is in Texas now and tells me she would really like her quilt. It's become the "housewarming" joke between us. Meanwhile I get the quilt layered to be quilted and it is gigantic and there's NO WAY it is going to fit in my sewing machine to be quilted.  So, I think it went back into the closet while I tried to think of a way to afford to have it professionally quilted. 

Fast forward three years......daughter is married, has a baby and lives in Michigan.  Okay, time to get serious about that quilt, because it is FREEZING cold in Michigan and she is a FLORIDA girl.  Finally, I get the bright idea to ask two ladies from the quilter's group at church if they might like to take on the project of machine quilting it.  They were willing and took the quilt to see if they could find a quilting machine that they could quilt it on. That was 6 months ago. Just the other day they told me the quilt was TOO BIG to go on their friends machine.  Back to square one and time to eat humble pie......

That brings me to the needle in hand and the realization that it's been 20 years since I've quilted by hand and I'm sorely out of practice!

I'd forgotten how to tie a quilter's knot and my stitches look more like Morse Code, (dot, dot, dash). 

Rather than the 12 stitches to an inch I used to quilt, it is more like 6 stitches to an inch (being generous) and they are rather wobbly like a drunkards path. It is a humbling experience (one deserved) after all these years. 

 But I'm getting the hang of hand quilting again and trying not to think too much about how gigantic a project this really is. 

She's waited this long......what's another 6 months to a year?  

You'll have to excuse me now......I have an elephant I need to eat.    

Say, where did I put my fork???

Bee Creative!



Julierose said...

Oh I hear you loud and clear--hand quilting does take time and energy. I hope to be doing more of it in the near future....hang in hugs, Julierose

Anne Payne said...

Oh my goodness, You are SO funny!!! think you still have fabric you bought to make your brother-in-law (my honey) a lap quilt for all the freezing evenings here in the mountains. Buuuuuuut...haven't seen that yet, either ;)