25 April, 2013

Big's Quilt - Finished and Well-Loved


Big's Quilt
60'' by 54''

With very little fanfare in the house  - more like a giant smile and a tiny squeal - I finished the quilt for my Evil Genius. It came out of the washing machine, all toasty, and was immediately put to use for cuddles, then fort building, then as a veil, then baby wrapping, then sleep. Well loved right from the start.

It's such a crazy mishmash of fabrics, all picked by her. She laid it out, then helped me sew it together by sitting on my lap and guiding pieces through the machine. Well, some pieces. Then she got bored and went back to watching Coraline. I was allowed to baste it without her, late at night, so her baby brother wouldn't get in the way. Then she picked thread for quilting - 6 different ones. No amount of convincing would lessen that amount so I accepted the challenge. Including that the front and back be different! (Oh tension woes! Don't look closely at the quilting.) She even drew me a sketch of the squiggly line she wanted for the quilting. That girl knows how to draw a meander. Finally, she picked her binding fabrics, a blend of purple with a bit of pink, of course. And she even sat with me for quite a bit as I hand stitched the binding down, pulling the needle.

Even I thought I was crazy when we started this project. Here is what I learned:

 - Let it evolve. If you get stuck on things having to get done only you will get frustrated. She could focus on the task, but making a quilt is a big project to a kid so it needs to happen at their pace.

 - Move fast. It was a lot of stop/go. When it was my turn to finish a task she was on me to get it done and get it done now.

 - Be okay if she loses interest. It sat for over a month on my design wall and I was a little bit sad that she'd lost interest. But when she came back to it her excitement had grown.

 - Let it go. Like most of us, the excitement was in the fabric selection and layout. I couldn't take that away from her so I let go of my conventions and perceptions. Would I have chosen that red fabric? Nope, but she loves them.

 - Limit the selection for backing fabric. I gave her stack of fabric I have in big yardage and told her to pick just one. Phew.

 - Do not use 6 different threads from 3 different manufacturers for the quilting. Just don't do it.

 - Be prepared for a blah reaction. Perhaps I'd built up her excitement for the quilt in my head, but a smile and just a tiny squeal were not what I expected when I handed her a warm quilt. But since I finished it a few weeks ago I see that it gets dragged around like her blankies, she wants it at night, and she plays with it. The quilt is not getting ignored and she loves to show it off. So yeah, I'd say she is indeed excited.

 - When you let her direct the photo shoot take, then delete, the photos where she drapes herself over the quilt in a way that no almost 5 year old should be seen. Don't tell her.

 - Smile a lot when you notice her outfits match her quilt.











17 comments:

Esch House Quilts said...

You are one wise mama :)

Paula said...

The quilt is beautiful and I love your daughter's fabric choices.

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is a precious post

Angie said...

This quilt is just PERFECT---she is such a lucky little girl to have you as her Mom AND to be sleeping in that quilt. :D

Lisa said...

Very sweet post. I love her colors too . . . quilts and outfits!

mjb said...

This is so so sweet!

figmentofcogitation said...

I just finished a top for my 6-year-old granddaughter that is just as bright and bold as this one. Since this will be my first attempt at machine quilting, I was a little stumped on how to approach it until I saw how well the meander works on yours. Thanks!

Suzanne said...

There is so much here to celebrate in the quilt making process with your daughter. The patience and reaction are key to me.

Samantha said...

Bravo! I love it! Congrats on the epic big reveal!

A Quilter's Mission - Vicki said...

How absolutely wonderful, to have created this beauty with the help of your "almost 5 year old"! My daughter wants to learn to quilt also, but she is 31. It will be a special time.

cambric cotton, pins and needles said...

This will be a wonderful memory that you will share, and a beautiful quilt that she will have to remember it by.

Beth said...

My Momma used to say actions speak louder than words. And actions say she loves her quilt. That is what we hope for hen making a quilt for someone else. Well done!

CitricSugar said...

It's absolutely charming.

Good tip on the threads. ;-)

Deb Cox said...

Oh Cheryl, thank you so much for the running commentary on this (yet another) experience with your daughter's quilt. It is a keeper as far as I am concerned for future references. The new beloved quilt and your daughter are beautiful. Enjoy your day, you deserve it.

Anne said...

Very very sweet! I'll bet this quilt will be something she's proud of for years.

Renee said...

What a wonderful quilt! An d a wonderful mama-daughter experience to go through!

amandajean said...

What a great finish, Cheryl! Good job letting go on your preferences....I don't think I could have done that. And 6 threads? Amazing!

Thanks for linking up to finish it up Friday!