Over the last few days I have begun a project, which I have been waiting to start for months. This quilt is for a young woman dear to my heart, these fabrics collected since late spring. Now it’s early autumn, time for this blanket to come together.
Some projects are like that, eagerly anticipated yet made to wait. Others hit like a truck, but not always do I know why I feel flattened in the middle of the road.
And sometimes, there isn’t an answer, for as I pulled these fabrics from the closet, salivating over them, I learned some initially distressing news; the family for whom I had a pile of quilts was gone. I don’t know to where, or how to reach them. I spent part of a day ruminating over this information, wondering if I had sewn more quickly or not made quilts for the parents… But at the end of the day, I accepted that perhaps this was a blessing I hadn’t considered all those days of cutting, piecing, and quilting. Maybe all my thoughts for them were prayers of a sort, taking them to a better place of residence where a bevy of quilts wasn’t altogether necessary.
A bevy of quilts; sounds better than a flock. And of that bevy, all have been granted new homes, which lifts my heart. The sister quilts were the hardest to place, but they will go to our church in December, landing under the giving tree for two girls who need a bright splash of warm colour. No quilt goes unclaimed on my watch.
But back to this beloved project, which will be called a Bestie Far Away. Not my bestie, but a bestie to someone close to my heart, which means a bestie to me, in a way. These fabrics, many batiks, were part of the birthday pressie collection, plus a few I picked up along the way. But as soon as I received them I knew for whom they were destined. Yet, other quilts loitered in the queue ahead of this one, a fall quilt, autumnal in nature. And now, the first day of October, it’s time.
Thank you lord, it’s finally time!
There was A LOT of fabric to cut, two hundred fifty-five squares worth, plus more for good measure. And that doesn’t include the sashes, which will make this comforter seventeen by nineteen four-inch blocks, or sixty-eight by seventy-six inches. That’s no small quilt, let me say, especially after my foray into baby blankets. But fifteen by seventeen fits on my quilt wall (just), and that’s what matters.
If it fits on the quilt, bring on the piecing!
Lately I’ve been doing the actual quilting on my smaller table, where my sewing machine most often resides. I’m thinking for this baby, sashes included, it’s going to be quilted on my big table, here in the grotto. How shall it be quilted remains to be seen. I’d *like* to try something different; I’ve stitched in the ditch myself nearly to tears. But that’s a few weeks away, for today is a road trip for Dad’s next step in the battle against cancer, not a fight he can win, but more of a scrap to see who outlasts the other. Either Dad will tire of the tussle, or cancer will concede to let nature take its course, which might sound erroneous, but sometimes life surprises us.
That family of quilts wasn’t for one particular clan after all. Who knows where Dad’s journey on this path will take him?
But this I do know; once pieced, then rows sewn, then sashed, then sandwiched, then quilted, this project will land in the arms of a lady so beautiful and amazing, it gives me profound pleasure even thinking about her and this quilt. It hearkens back to when I was finishing Dad’s blanket, my very first quilt, and how happy I was to give him something necessary in his chemo adventure, also a gift from my own hands. That is a large part of why I love quilting, writing too. It comes from my hands, head, and heart. In this rather modern world, it’s a precious blessing to pass along.
Nothing virtual about a quilt, I’ll say. It’s about as tactile as one’s soul gets, and even better when it rests in another’s grasp. Another mystery, best left unsolved.