Sunday, April 05, 2009

An emergency Quilt.

Note: Don't read this post if you are a perfectionist, member of the quilt police, or prone to panicking about quilts that are not done 'properly'.

I am furiously working on an emergency quilt. Normally I keep several finished quilts on hand so that I can give one away if there is a quick need. But this weekend, I found out about a little girl in the neighborhood whose Mom died on Friday. This girl is almost 9 years old, and a friend of my children. All the quilts I have on hand are more baby/toddler size and style. So I had to come up with an idea, quick. I pulled out several unfinished tops and asked Thing One to pick a top that she thought the girl would like. She chose the Scrappy Bargello Quilt that I have been waiting to finish. My plan was to add some pieced words in the border, but fine, I'll finish this top in the next few days for the neighbor girl.

So I found some bright and cheerful backing for the top. I had put narrow lime green borders on it, but it still really needs a wider border. BUT, I need to quilt it quickly and on my quilting frame. But the frame is set up at only half width, and that means that if I add borders, it will be too wide to mount on the frame. Well okay, I can just leave it with the narrow lime green borders and call it good. That will still work. So I mounted the quilt on the frame and started quilting. Uh oh. Oops.


If you've quilted on a frame, you can see the problem I have: the quilt is still too wide for the size of the frame because the machine carriage is all the way to the end, and the needle doesn't reach to the edge of the quilt. I suppose that I would have realized that was going to happen had I actually MEASURED, which I didn't. Oh well. I can think of something right? So I quilted the center of the quilt and didn't quilt the borders at all. I'll do those later on the regular machine with the walking foot.

I finished quilting, found some binding fabric (hot pink, per Thing Ones specifications), ready to do some stitching in the borders with the walking foot. It was a great idea. The part that was NOT a great idea was when I put my thumb under the needles while the machine was running. I didn't realize I did it until I had searing pain in my thumb. At that point, I realized that the needle was in my fingernail and I couldn't pull my finger out from under it. After a small panic, I managed to get my thumb out without gushing blood all over the quilt. Eventually I got myself cleaned up, stopped hyperventilating and calmed down enoough to go near the machine again.

The quilt is quilted, the binding is on and waiting to be handstitched. Yes, the borders are a little bit wavy. If they were wider, I would have cut them narrower to minimize the waviness (like I said, don't read if you are squeamish about incorrect quilting procedure!) I know that solution works because, well, I've done it before. But I couldn't really make them narrower than the 1 1/2" they already are. So she's going to have a slightly wavy edge on her quilt. Somehow I doubt she'll notice.

Tonight I will finish the handstitching and wash the quilt. Then tomorrow after I go to the wake, I'll drop the quilt off at her house and come home and cry for this poor child, her Dad and her Grandma. Thank goodness that the family has Grandma living with them to help them out.

8 comments:

Carol E. said...

You are so nice to give her a quilt and get it done right away. Hooray for you. And OUCH on the thumb! I hope you heal up quickly. Do we get to see the completed quilt? Prayers going out for the girl.. so sad.

Quilt Pixie said...

may the girl's heart be warmed by your gift...

Catherine said...

That quilt will be so loved and I doubt the girl will ever see the imperfections you see in it. My bet is she only feels the warmth and caring wrapped around her.
Hope your thumb heals quickly. That sounds SO painful!

BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

You make me laugh so hard! I've been told there is no right or wrong ... just UFO's and finished quilts!

McIrish Annie said...

you did a good thing! and no one is the wiser about the waviness. what a sad story. hope your thumb is on the mend.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

you are so good to get this quilt done for your daughter's friend. The quilt is a perfect comfort quilt and it doesn't matter that it's not perfectly made. ouch - you're the third blogger this year that sewed into their thumb. My friend Will ended up with the tip of the needle permanently lodged in there....

Terry said...

What a sweet thing for you to make a quilt for this poor little girl. I hope your thumb heals quickly! And good for you not bleeding on the quilt!

Jeanne said...

I'm sure she will cherish the quilt and always remember your kindness.