As long as I can remember, my mother has been sewing and quilting and teaching sewing and quilting. And as long as I can remember, she’s used this Tupperware box to hold her basic sewing equipment (and apparently ten thimbles!) so last weekend, seeing it sitting on my ironing board was a bit like seeing an old-fashioned black doctor’s bag.
Yes, the quilt doctor was making a house call.
My parents were in town for my brother’s birthday and I managed to book my mom for all day for Sunday. My father read and slept on the couch while we turned on two sewing machines and my mom tackled my friend’s baby quilt, which was in cut-up squares in a plastic baggie.
I had overreached. I needed help.
My friend had given birth earlier that week and her baby quilt (in green and yellow as requested) was still not assembled. Months ago, I had made almost all the pinwheels, even the big ones that the instructions said not too, but then I stopped when I faced a sizing problem.
The pattern called for charm squares to be chopped into pinwheels. However, I had ordered some “charm squares” from Etsy that were in adorable green and yellow 30s fabric. But instead of being 5 inches, they were 3.5 inches. This meant I had to fudge the large pinwheels in the pattern….and basically, end up trying to do math. Oh, math. We haven’t seen each other since high school, and we still hate each others’ guts.
Anyway, my squares didn’t seem the all be the right size, I wasn’t sure about the big pinwheels, and I needed to cut out 44 white squares of some size. So I was relieved when my mom sat down with the stack and a rotary cutter and made sure all was the same size and then chopped up the white squares…until we ran out of fabric and had to drive across town in the heat to buy more.
So, lessons learned from the quilt doctor?
- Follow the instructions! Don’t make the big pinwheel if the instructions say not to, because you will have to pick them apart, wasting precious time.
- If the stitches seem weird, stop and fix the problems. Or it will be almost impossible to pick apart later. Your mother will be displeased.
- Always buy more fabric than you think you will need.
- Chain piecing makes assembly much easier!
We sewed and ripped and pinned and my mom made sure that quilt top was together before she left. I was relieved, because I just could not see how it was all going to come together otherwise.
So, it’s almost done! I need to piece the back together and machine quilt it, and then send it off to England. And after feeling a bit hesitant over the lightness of this quilt (it’s very soft in color), I’ve decided that I love it.
Stay tuned for a picture of the final image!