A couple of years ago, I had made the decision to try something or accomplish something new each year. A sort of bucket list if you will. But being that I'm not really the "jump out of a plane" or "bungee jumping" kinda girl, you shouldn't be too surprised that one of the items on my list was to "make a quilt" - so adventurous I know!
If you read this blog a few years ago, you would know that I got a really great start on this goal. I bought and cut all the material to make a king sized quilt. I even stitched the entire top piece together. I even bought the batting and backing and started to put that on too. But all of it got sidelined when Charlie's new bed was made. I instead started another quilt for Charlie out of his old t-shirts. Of course I finished that one and was able to check "make a quilt" off my list. But for the past 3 years I've had an almost finished king sized quilt tucked away.
I knew I couldn't let this venture go the way of my "learn to knit" goal - the half of a scarf I started when I lived at home. I'm sure if I looked hard enough now I would find it in a box downstairs with the knitting needles right where I left them in 2002.
So when I moved it seemed like the perfect opportunity to decorate my room and what better jumping off point then this awesome quilt I'd started. After Christmas I dedicated a solid few nights and a weekend to finishing it. I did it! I finished this massive quilt. I watched you tube videos on how to bind the edges. I took my own creative liberty to improvise a bit in some places. I'm sure people who quilt regularly would be horrified if they looked at the back of this thing. But if you look at the top, it looks so great. It weighs approximately a thousand pounds, which I love. The colours and the textures make it interesting. There is wool and tweed and all sorts of stuff. There probably isn't one row that is straight. In fact, who knows if the quilt itself is square. All of this is besides the point. It's a homemade quilt. I'm so unbelievable proud of myself. It's a real accomplishment. Maybe because it's just a finished project? I don't know, but I'm proud. And happy. Of course I'm never going to make a quilt this big again - I'm crazy but not that crazy. I will leave the quilting to my Sister! Tackling this project gave me a whole new respect for this artform that is for sure.
It's left me thinking though about quilts. What is it that makes them so comforting? Why did I want to do this project so badly?
I think it's because they are like a story. Whether you bought all new material, or chopped up old clothes, whoever made the quilt had an idea in mind. It's not so different to a painting or any other creative outlet. The quilt tells a story. The different materials, the textures, the stitching, the colours. It is like functional artwork.
My Mom has two quilts that I adore. One she has had as long as I remember. It is so colourful and it reminds me of her Mom - my Grandma Newton. It's heavy. It's abstract. It's satin and velvet and corduroy with beautiful hand-stitching. I can't remember who made it, but I feel like it might have been someone I would get along with really well! In fact, that quilt inspired my Mom and I to make a quilt back when I was teenager. I still have that one too.
The second quilt she received a few years ago from her co-workers who as a group, made it for her. They gave it to her to celebrate becoming a Grandma when Charlie was born. How cool is that? This same group of ladies has done the same thing for others in the group as more little ones were born. There's a story! Each of them sewed a section and the whole thing gets brought together at the end in a beautiful quilt. This one happens to be of water and trees and it is stunning. Way to go Ladies of the Ridge!
Now that I'm writing I also remember the quilt on my bed a kid. It was mostly pink and white. It had a large circle pattern in it and the pieces of material were pie shaped. I remember spending nights falling asleep trying to find all the pieces of the same material. Or the one piece that had actually started to come apart at the seam, I would always stick my finger in it. I know someone had made that for me. I just cannot remember who.
Maybe it's all these memories that made me want to make a quilt of my own so badly.
In any case, here are some pictures of it. High five to me! It feels so good to have this done. Now to finish the rest of the room!