I have been keeping a secret. A bunch of people around here knew it, but Ceara didn’t, and I don’t think I’ve kept a secret from her for this long ever. Let me give you a little back story. Way back. It’s 2003. I’m in Corvallis, I’ve got crew going on, school and thus art projects galore, and I decide that I want to do something extra cool for Ceara’s Christmas present. Extra cool, and it turns out, way over my head. I get a library book and have Ceara go through it and tell me which quilts she likes. Then I don’t tell her which one I’m going to do, but end up picking this cool star quilt in the book. I set about getting the million different shades of blue I need for it, and start cutting and piecing. And at Christmas time, I get to show her this:
Not quite the finished product I was hoping for, but I still had a week or so left of break so I got to sewing. And I had this:
Now comes the problem. I had to actually quilt it. The book called for some insane swirls and waves, and the stars where sort of "in-lined" (like out-lined, but on the inside on the seam). I thought I should start with the stars. My mom had just gotten a cool new sewing machine, and the add-on of a table extension thing so that you can wrangle the quilt a little better. So I would roll up the quilt as tight as possible and then try to quilt the little bit I could shove under the machine. This did not work well. I could not get tension, the bobbin color kept popping up to the front. So I decided for the back I would use mono-filament thread (like really thin fishing line) and then I wouldn’t have those problems (this came back to haunt me). This is when I started having real problems. Things snagged, lines were wonky. It was bad. So I folded it up, and put it away. And brought it out every once and a while, looked at it and thought, hey I should work on that. I moved it three times, but no go on the finishing. I kept thinking, I should finish this for ____________ (Ceara’s graduation, move, wedding, anniversary, other Christmases). But I had it so messed up I was afraid to go back to it. Finally I decided that I needed to have it professionally quilted. I spent way too much time on the piecing to just let it go. So early December I finally brought it to someone. I had to pull out all the quilting I’d done (and that clear thread stuff was a bitch).
Then there was this other problem. I had copied the pages from the library book of the quilting, so I could remember how it went. But I couldn’t find it, and so I had to go to the library and look through EVERY quilt book there. When I still couldn’t find it I got one of the librarians to make me a spread sheet of every checked out quilt book, and went hunting to see what those were like online. I had about 83 of those to go through. I finally found it though, this is the book: Quick and Easy Scrap Quilts.
Then I waited two months.
Then I hand stitched on the binding for a week.
Then I sent it to Ceara. And yesterday she opened the package over iChat. I think that last time we talked about the quilt was a year ago, so ya, she was surprised.
It turned out so awesome!
The amount of stitching can be seen in the back especially.
I am sold. I am having any crazy pattern like this professionally done from now on.
Ceara, worth waiting for?! It turned out beautiful Amber WELL DONE!
I stumbled across your site a few days ago and just started reading – but I was surprised to see this quilt because I made the same one a few years ago! It was my second quilt ever and way over my head, but it came out ok in the end. It was my mother’s Christmas present 😉 I am sure Ceara will love it.
I do love it! What a wonderful surprise! I was convinced you had completely forgotten about it or had just given up completely. It is on my couch downstairs, so every night when I watch tv, I get to curl up with a little bit of Amber 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re THE BEST!!!!
P.S. It’s so beautiful and warm and cozy! Oh man, I love it so much, it deserves 2 posts!!
That is so pretty! WELL DONE! Seems like this one was definitely worth the wait.
I love your blog… I have been a long time lurker and love all of your crafty goodness that you share with us.
I love, love, love this quilt! You did an amazing job piecing it and who ever quilted it did an equally amazing job.
Thanks for sharing this quilt, and all of your other crafty goodness, with us.
oh wow! Amber that turned out lovely!
I love the way you had it quilted…
and the colors are gorgeous.
what a fun surprise for ceara!
love the swirls, gorgeous quilt and so well made 🙂
Awesome. Simply Awesome. I have been piecing together two quilts (both, my first time attempting to make a quilt of any kind) for about six months and have stopped mid-way simply because I’m terrified and have no idea really what to do next. BRAVO to you for this showpiece !
Stunning! You are making me want to bust out a very similar quilt that I have tucked away half done somewhere… mine is a sun pattern made with log cabin squares – it is very cool. I stopped doing my own quilting when I tried to do a full size quilt – never again. great job!
Wow! Just wow.
Especially love the round pattern in the quilting.
Oh my goodness, what an awesome friend you are Amber!!! This quilt looks stunning, and 10 out of 10 to you for persisting with it.
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