A little more than twelve years ago I was introduced to a quilting bee created by a colleagues girlfriend. She had a dream of revolutionizing the world with the start of a woman's quilting bee. She saw it as a way to get women together and exchange ideas.
She asked a variety of women around her if they would be interested, and Miranda included me because of my love of knitting etc. And so it began, a group of us bought "quilting for dummies", made a trip to City Quilters and we taught ourselves how to quilt.
We all came up with a project to do, I chose a queen sized quilt. (I often wonder what I was smoking as this was to be done by hand.) I created a design, colored it, chose fabrics for it, and proceeded to stitch it together.
The top was completed by the time we sort of fell of from attending the group. I continued and made my sandwich and put it away. I brought it out over the next year or two and attempted to hand quilt it. I didnt like how it looked so I stopped and packed it away.
Every so often I would look at it and think about finishing it. As the years passed I tried more hand quilting per block, with little success or satisfaction. I even toyed with the idea of machine quilting it, just to finish. But I never could bring myself to do that. I started by hand and wanted to finish by hand.
As I began quilting even more, it always gnawed at me as the UFO (Un Finished Object) that was. Then late last year, I made a promise that I would complete it. I was torn, a bit overwhelmed, but I moved forward.
During the last week of 2011, I was at a sew day with Jess and friends and discovered perle cotton. That was the way to go. It is a heavier weight thread, that would allow me to finish hand quilting quicker than regular quilting thread. So, Helen helped pull out the old quilting stitches and Jess began the first few stitches to demonstrate the use of perle cotton.
So with that start and a small challenge by Jess, I have completed it. All done by hand. (except for the attachment of the binding, although the back binding was finished by hand).
I must say, it is a happy night for me knowing that it is done. I shall take some pics in the day to show the vibrancy. But for now, here is my first ever quilt, hand quilted and completed after I began over twelve years ago.
And a Quote that I found that sums this process up completely.
" Each and every incomplete thing in your life or work exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you as surely as a vampire stealing your blood.
Every incomplete promise, commitment and agreement saps your strength, because it blocks your momentum, inhibits your ability to move forward, to progress and improve. Incomplete things keep calling you back to the past to take care of them. Jeff Olson"
Thank God I completed it. I am now free to press onward and improve...smiles. I can't wait to wash it. Yippee.