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.