The secret birthday quilt

Well, as you know, I don’t post all that often, but I was trying to be a little more frequent about it.  However, for about the past month, I’ve been involved in a top secret project with my sister Ginny.  We’ve been piecing, and then I quilted, a quilt for our sister Barbara’s milestone birthday (she’s really old).  Now, the deal was supposed to be that my sister Ginny would piece the quilt, and then I would quilt it, but Ginny (ever the minimalist) presented me with a quilt that was approximately 64 x 78″.  My sister Barb has a queen-sized bed, so this just wasn’t going to work out.  I had Ginny add a border of colored squares, then I added a thin plain border, a border of pinwheels, and then another plain border.  Let’s face it — you can’t just slap 11-12″ plain borders on a quilt and call it good.  It would look really silly.  So, I got the quilt top done, finished quilting a little baby quilt for my niece and her husband (they are expecting in mid-late November), and had just loaded the quilt and started the SID (for you non-quilters, this is stitch in the ditch — or outlining the main components of the quilt) when my sister (for whom the quilt was made) calls to tell me that she absolutely LOVES the design I quilted on the baby quilt (my niece is her daughter) and can she send me the fabric to quilt the crib bumpers in the same pattern?  Ai Chihuahua!  Do I say NO!  I’m quilting your birthday quilt, I have no time!!?  Sigh.  Doormat that I occasionally am, I told her to go ahead and send the fabric.  I took the quilt off the frame, expecting that the fabric would arrive on Saturday (it didn’t) and had to load it back on and quilt like the dickens Saturday night and all day Sunday, woke up Monday morning with a migraine (probably from quilting), stayed home and did a little more after the meds kicked in (late afternoon), unloaded, loaded the bumper fabric that arrived with Monday’s mail, quilted that Monday night, unloaded it, loaded the quilt, and finished quilting it Tuesday and Wednesday night.  So, a total of about 2.5 days quilting on this queen-sized quilt.  Most of you who know me know that I am slower than molasses in January.  I’m a follow the line quilter – I go slow and I’m careful and I rip out anything that is wobbly.  Well, there was absolutely no time for that here.  I was haulin’ on this thing, so it’s full of wobbles and bobbles but if you stand back far enough, you just see the overall design and not all the mistakes.  Sort of like an impressionist painting.  Besides all the wonky quilting, I’m satisfied with how this came out.  The wool batting caused some major poof in those diamonds in the outer border.  Given more time, I probably would have plopped some little motif in there to tamp them down, but eventually, the batting will probably lose some of its loft and it looks okay when on the bed.  Oh — my sister said she loved the quilt, so I guess that’s all that matters!

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