Tonight I finished the Brother-In-Law quilt top. I feel like I’ve been working on this project all summer, and in a way I have; the fabric has been around for ages, and the cutting took considerable time. Shirts aren’t anything like yards of store-bought fabric when it comes to the rotary cutter and cutting mat, but those fabrics were free, and were cottons (and poly/cottons) my BIL liked. And it was as if I was stepping back in the past every time I transformed a shirt into a pile of squares; this was how quilts used to be made all the time.
Most of the fabric was previously clothing. I added the camo, plus two blue fat quarters and the remnant from some muslin. I needed some solids to balance out the plethora of prints, mainly plaids. Plus the shirts themselves were a variety of linens, some flannel of varying thicknesses, some all cotton, some a blend. One blend didn’t like a hot iron, and after I was done, I threw the leftover squares in the bin. But the rest were fairly well-behaved, and now they are attached as a whole.
And hopefully by the end of the week they’ll be quilted into a lovely comforter.
But I wanted to reflect a little on the process, which indeed has taken most of summer, in between road trips and sports. Then suddenly the quilt-top is complete, that sewing endeavor finished. Never again will I sew these squares into that pattern.
And that’s a little daunting, when I consider it as such. Maybe it’s this project being so tied into the last weeks of my dad’s chemo, other life changes rearing their head in the interim. Certainly some quilts have had their share of secondary meanings; the Mijos Quilt is still the Bonhoeffer Quilt in my head, and I won’t soon forget the four-day quilt-extravaganza that was the Whale Quilt. But this blanket, or the top of this blanket, carries a deeper sense of accomplishment, or maybe it’s just freshly swimming around in my head.
But not only my brain; my soul has been seared by this collection of fabrics, shirts and fat quarters and a half-yard of camo, plus another half-yard of a lighter coloured camo for the binding. That fabric was also a poly/cotton blend, so this quilt contains a wide gamut of fabrics. I made that binding a few weeks ago, before I even started sewing together the rows. I had a day between drives north, and needed something to occupy my hands. My mind has been a blur for the last several weeks; thank goodness for quilting!
However, a manuscript has been returned from one of the best pairs of editing eyes I know, and now that Dad’s done with chemo, literary activities are beginning to stir. Currently it’s a gentle tap tap on my shoulder. By this time next week, it could very well be a head-banging gong worthy of some of my most beloved rockers. Yet, this coming week will be about quilt sandwiches, with some housecleaning on the side. Probably little about baseball. The last three days with the Dodgers have left the Giants scratching their heads.
Fortunately I have more fabric to cut. The Giants can lose all they want. I’ve got more quilts on the roster than sense, like I used to have more plots than brains. But maybe plots are making a comeback. Soon enough, I’ll know…