Here’s one UFO coming off that giant pile! I think it’s been a little over two years from start to finish.
This was one of the first quilt tops I made. I was so excited when I opened up the package of batting that Monique and Lynne from Cambridge Quilt Shop recommended to me and saw that Quilter’s Dream was collecting quilts to give to people with ALS/MND. A few days ago, I wrote a very long post about why this is such a great cause to donate to. It will probably be the first thing I publish when I get my domain back. I’ll sum it up very quickly for you here:
We don’t know what causes ALS, and while there are some hereditary cases, over 90% of cases currently have unknown causes. There is currently nothing one can do to avoid developing this disease, it is incurable and untreatable. The average patient with ALS will live between two to five years, although of course, there are some who pass away within months, and others who live with the disease for many years. During this time, a person suffering this disease will retain full cognitive facilities, and watch helplessly as their body becomes less and less responsive, eventually becoming completely paralyzed. As you can gather, it’s an extremely grim diagnosis. Last year’s Ice Bucket Challenge did a lot to raise the profile of ALS within the wider community, but I think a quilt is lovely way of acknowledging that individuals with this disease often feel ignored by the scientific community, misunderstood by the general community, and become increasingly isolated as they lose the ability to communicate, they are not completely forgotten.
I wanted to make something for them right away, then of course, I ran in to all sorts of problems, and it went in the “naughty box” for a very long time. I owe Weeks a debt of gratitude on this one. She posted a few months back about quilts for Hopes and Dreams, which reminded me that this one had been boxed up for far too long.
Being that this is a really easy quilt to put together, you might be wondering why it was in the “naughty box” for so long. Well, when is a five inch square, not a five inch square? Much more often that fabric manufacturers would like you to realize. This charm pack ranged at everything from four and a half to five inches, and at that point, I really didn’t have the experience to know how to deal with it. Eventually I settled on wonky seams, and honestly, I thought it didn’t look particularly good.
Over time, I learned a lot about what happens when tops get quilted, and I thought it was worthwhile seeing if that might help this quilt a little. It actually helped a whole lot, and honestly, I think it came out really well.
It was very interesting working with a quilt with a lot of problems. One of the seams split while it was on my frame, so I fixed it with a quick whip stitch – it’s not exactly ideal, but a finished quilt is useful and but a top sitting in the naughty corner is no good to anyone. Also, not surprisingly, it came out very far from square. I thought a lot about how I was going to trim it, and decided that a square quilt was preferable to an oddly shaped one, so all the lines look a little bit slanted now. It’s one of those things that I’m counting as not being a big deal.
I quilted this one myself, with an edge-to-edge swirl vine, accented with leaves – a design I learned from Dusty Farrell. He’s gotten very creative with the semi-custom E2E designs, and I really love that idea. It’s so much more interesting than a pantograph, and allows for a little bit of customization.
Getting this photographed was a pain. I’ve seen so many lovely photos where quilts just happen to drape themselves beautifully over an accent chair. This didn’t happen for me. Maybe the chair is just too small and I might have to look for a larger one. It took a long time to get this one to cooperate.
Then, Jolly decided to stage a protest about my blog being partially named after him, and him not appearing on it anywhere, so here he is in all his scruff-muffin glory. Yes, we should get him clipped, but the car sickness is a major barrier to this, as there’s no groomer within walking distance here. I really don’t think he cares much how his hair looks, and he seems pretty happy either way.
Here are all the photos Jolly insisted we include:
I’m curious about whether other quilters donate their work. If you do, do you have an organization of choice, or do you work for many?
I’m also linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. I think this is the first time I’ve joined this particular link party.
And all the usual info:
Pieced by me with Aurifil 50wt.
Batting: Dream Wool.
Until next time, happy quilting!