My second grandchild was born in March, a beautiful little girl named Alexia Grace.
Months before her arrival her mom showed me the fabrics she had picked out at Carousel Designs to have drapes, a crib skirt, sheets and a changing table pad custom made. Since fabric was available by the yard, I had the fabulous idea to buy some of the coordinating fabric and make a quilt for Lexi’s room. In November I ordered a yard of each of the three fabrics and actually got it on sale for 20% off. The thought was that I would have it made and give it to her to take back to Texas after she visited at Christmas. That did not happen. January came along with an extended stay in Omaha and all I had done was wash the fabric.
Finally I decided I had better get started so I planned a design on paper using a herringbone pattern. Then I cut out my squares of fabric and started sewing the squares into layer cakes. If you have no idea what layer cakes are, check out my post here.
If this quilt could talk it would tell you that it heard more than it’s share of expletives coming from the mouth of it’s maker. After all the squares were cut and sewn, I started laying it out in the pattern and it appeared I did not have enough squares. The actual problem was I had cut the squares 6.5 inches instead of 10.5 inches. I have no idea where I got that number from. I had to go back to Carousel Designs and order another yard of two of the fabrics, this time it was not on sale!
It was close to the end of January before I received the new material and I was starting to panic that Lexi would be here before the quilt was done. I buckled down and spent an entire Saturday in cold, snowy Omaha cutting out the new squares, making the new layer cakes and finally being able to sew the squares into rows.
Once the entire quilt top was sewn together I hand basted it to the backing and batting and started the process to hand quilt. If this quilt could talk it would tell you to never attempt to hand quilt something that is not 100% cotton. Hand quilting requires a loose weave so several stitches can be picked up on one pass of the needle. It took me about five minutes to realize I would not be hand quilting this tightly woven fabric blend, especially when the needle came through the leather thimble I was wearing and stuck in my finger as I was pushing it through the fabric. OUCH!
I was totally bummed for a day before I had another idea. In the past I have had a few quilts machined quilted by someone who lives just a few miles from me. I immediately called her and asked if she would be available to quilt this for me and she said that yes she could do it but her next opening was next September. Whaaat??? I actually told her to save me the spot because I had just found out I have another grandbaby due next September. This would not work for Lexi’s quilt though because she was due soon and I realized then that the quilt would not be done before she got here.
If this quilt could talk it would tell you that it traveled halfway across the country and back before it was even finished. I had one final idea, I have a cousin who lives in the state of Washington and does machine quilting. I gave her a call and practically begged her to quilt this baby blanket. She graciously agreed so I removed the basting in the quilt since I knew she would need to do that and packed up all the pieces and shipped them to her. A week or so passed and I got a phone call from her. I could tell by the tone of her hello that it was not good news…….the quilt had broken multiple needles on her machine, she was not going to be able to quilt it. I thanked her for trying and asked her to pack it back up and return it to me.
When I received it back I knew there was only one other choice to finish this quilt and that was to tie it. Dave even offered to help me pull the needle through with pliers if needed. My grandmother had tied most of the quilts she made but I had never tried that. I searched for instructions online and went out bought a few supplies.
I was pretty disappointed at this point, the quilt was not turning out how I had envisioned it at all. I started with the tying process and found it was going pretty fast.
About half way through I was starting to like the look of the ties. It seemed to make this lavender quilt even more feminine, like little bows. After the tying was completed, I made the binding and finished the quilt.
If this quilt could talk it would tell you that all the challenges in creating it were absolutely worth it when it’s maker saw this sweet picture.