Playing with the layout. This was taken on 8/19/11, when we were temporarily living at my mom's house before we closed on our house.
I picked Ashley's Rubik's Crush pattern for the layout of the quilt, and ordered Tula Pink's beautiful line of fabric, Prince Charming, in the indigo and honey colorways, and Kona Snow for the neutral. I had every intention of finishing this in time for the wedding, but...it just didn't happen. I work well with deadlines, but realistic deadlines. And with everything we had going on in our lives at that time (we didn't even move into our house until 3 weeks before their wedding), getting a queen size quilt done by October just wasn't realistic for me.
First ECMQG meeting on 9/29/11. I made some progress, but with only a couple weeks until the wedding, it was obvious I wouldn't finish in time.
After I passed the wedding deadline, I didn't really have a deadline anymore. It just kind of became this quilt that I would finish...eventually. So I worked on it here and there, with my husband
That is, until August when Sarah told me they would be coming for Thanksgiving! I had my motivation! I realized that my real motivation was giving them the quilt in person, as opposed to mailing it (they live in St. Louis).
This was taken on 10/13/12 at a ECMQG Sew Day
With my butt kicked in high gear, I went to work! Those little tiny 9 patches with borders almost killed me, but I pushed through, and finally finished the top in early November.
Taken on 11/4/12
Now that the top was done, the question was how to quilt it? All along, I planned to use a long arm, because this was by far the largest quilt I had ever done, and I struggle even working with a lap size quilt in my tiny machine. I'm sure with a lot of work, I could have done it, but I just wasn't up for the challenge. Thankfully, a local quilt shop in my small town rents out time on their long arm. So I reserved my day, and started thinking about quilting designs.
Then, my family got sick. Well, we had been sick with colds, sinus infections, ear infections, etc. for a few weeks. But then we got a stomach bug on top of it all. And I had to reschedule my date with the long arm. I started thinking this would never happen! Plus, it was getting so close to my deadline, that I really started panicking. What if something went wrong? What if I couldn't finish before they got here? What if...What if...What if?
The day finally came for me to use the long arm (four days before they were set to come), and the morning of, I still didn't know how I was going to quilt it. I didn't know what I would be capable of, yet I didn't want to do a regular meander. I thought about quilting each pieced block a certain way, and then the non-pieced blocks another way. But again, I didn't know if I could pull that off, since I had never used a long arm before. So Friday morning I woke up and started doodling. I decided that I would do a kind of rounded square meander.
I got to the quilt shop, and got started. I practiced a bit on the sides where it was just batting and backing and got the feel of the machine and the design I chose. Then I took a deep breath and went to work!
Using the long arm on 11/16/12
I have to say, after all my panicking and build up and negativity, I really didn't need to be worried! The quilting went really well, and I had so much fun doing it, and I was totally happy with the design I chose. Everything just fell into place! By no means is the quilting perfect, but I'm very pleased with the outcome, and totally want to long arm again! And again...and again!
Close up of the quilting
All that was left to do was the binding and the label. I finished the binding at the ECMQG weekend sew, which was the day after I quilted it! Gotta love machine binding a quilt!
Here's the finished product (I realized that it's difficult photographing a quilt this big!):
Sometimes when I take a long time to finish a quilt, or spend a lot of time agonizing over one, I end up really hating the quilt. But I actually really love this quilt, and I'm happy with everything about it! John and Sarah are happy with it, as well, and that's the most important thing.