Friday, May 4, 2012

True quilt love or insanity?

Last fall I went into one of my local quilt stores to browse. At least that's what I told my dear husband who chose to wait in the car. After all, I was only going to be a minute. (Surely he knows by now that quilt store time is different than standard time, right?) I was only a few steps in the door when the lights dimmed all around me except for this beam of light that shone down from what must have been the quilting heavens onto a quilt hanging across the room. I was immediately drawn to it. It was a Christmas quilt (my favorite holiday), depicting "The Night Before Christmas" ( a favorite all-time story), made completely out of the most yummy fabric collection (Moda's French General), and in delightful colors. I was in quilt love!

I was now a woman on a mission. I had to make this lovely quilt. I could already envision it hanging on my wall. I looked perfect! I asked the lovely sales lady about it. She said it was a kit done as a block of the month. Could this be any more perfect? But then she added, "...from last year. We don't have it any more. I don't think we even have the fabric."  My heart sank. How dare they leave such wonderfulness hanging on the wall to toy with my quilty emotions? They should have taken that thing down and locked it away so I never would have seen it. Quilt store cruelty, I tell you! Said sales lady should be banished to a dark corner to fold endless fat quarters of really ugly fabric.

But luckily another sales lady (we'll call her my quilt super hero) must have overheard my growl and swooped in to save the day. She quickly fumbled around under the counter and pulled out THE last pattern. I swear I heard angels sing. Then she floated around the room grabbing bolts of fabric, checking the pattern, grabbing more bolts, checking the pattern, grabbing more bolts, and finally lead me to a stack of fabric bolts at least four feet tall. She quickly pointed out that they had all but four of the original fabrics, but she had chosen alternates for each of them. Then she started cutting. And cutting and cutting. An hour later I had three big bags of fabric, a yummy pattern, and quilt love in my heart. True happiness!

Then life happened, (and other projects, of course.) So a few days ago I decided it was time to pull out the Christmas quilt and get this project under way. Then I really looked at the pattern. Applique. Lots and lots of applique. I don't mind applique so much. But for some reason I don't like to do anything the easy way. I'm not a fuse-it-down, machine-stitch-it kind of gal. I like to applique the old-fashioned way, needle-turn by hand. So I started tracing the pieces on freezer paper. I traced for three days. I used at least 9 square feet of freezer paper. Then it took me several more days to cut out all these little pieces.

Here's what I ended up with. There are at least 5 million little pieces. Except for those three big pieces you see in the upper-left corner. Aaahhhhh! What have I gotten myself into? Have I lost my mind? I vow before you now, I will have it done by Christmas (it just may not be of 2012!) You know it has to be true quilt love if I'm willing to take on all those little pieces! Time will tell if it is an everlasting love.

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