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And a project done.

Yesterday was a lovely day of yoga, a lunch out at a nice restaurant, and the resumption of a project I'd started in April.

Last year, I'd gotten it into my head that I was going to turn the banners from my wedding into a harlequin quilt.  Problem was, I didn't know how to quilt. I didn't even know how to sew, really.  I have a sewing machine, and I know the very basics of sewing, but I've never been formally taught or really done that many sewing heavy projects.  So, I pinned a lot of quilts I liked to my pinterest board, and I started research.   My mom had made quilts for both of my sisters when we were little, and I remember it being a very laborious project for her, but she definitely encouraged me.  In December, Olivia and I discussed quilting, and we poured over patterns in various books and on the internet. In March, I signed up for a four hour quilting workshop on Living Social, and I finally put needle to fabric.  I really got into it.  I realized, though, that I wanted/needed to work on a smaller, easier project than the wedding quilt as my first quilt.

Anyhow, in April, I found out that I was pregnant, and I saw the baby as a good a reason as any to start a smaller quilt.  So I picked out a relatively easy pattern from the Moda Bake Shop, and I found some gender neutral fabrics. And one night when Graham was at work, I started cutting.   I must have run out of time or needed the dining room table or something, because I put the fabric away shortly after I was a little over halfway through.

And then I lost the pregnancy, and I wasn't particularly interested in continuing.

But when I packed to come here, I grabbed all the fabrics I had for quilting and my sewing machine and boxes of notions and way too much fabric related craft stuff. I figured I had the room in the car, and maybe I'd progress a little.

When I started yesterday, I figured I'd just get the cutting done. I don't think I realized that I was nearly done with the cutting when I stopped, which may be why I put off moving forward. Cutting is not my favorite part; I'm in a constant state of terror that I'm going to royally screw something up.  But forty five minutes after I started, I was ready to start piecing all these fabrics together.  It took me about half an hour to finish the first block, and I figured out a few ways of streamlining the process, and the next thing I knew, I was done with the first set of blocks!   I worked for a few hours yesterday, and I finished half the blocks.  I went to bed feeling very proud of myself.

This morning, I woke up not feeling all that rested.  I thought that maybe I just didn't get enough sleep or maybe I overdid it with all the walking and yoga, but I'm thinking now that I'm coming down with something.  I'm hopeful that I'm able to fight it off before tomorrow's journey home.

At any rate, I went to the farmer's market this morning, which was lovely. I saw a few people I'd seen over the week, mainly people from the various yoga classes. But it's clear that the farmer's market is a social hub for the community, as it was packed and everyone was spending as much time chatting as they were buying food.  I wish I'd made the market last Saturday for my provisioning while I was here, but I knew that there would be two items I'd be happy to take home with me: berrywine tomatoes and fresh mushrooms.   The tomatoes are just to die for, and I bought a little over a pound for $4.50.  The mushrooms are an amazing delicacy.  There is a French chef who has been here for decades who, legend has it, knows mushrooms better than anyone in the FDA.  He's able to find chanterelles and porchni, and the next few weeks are the perfect times to find them. I bought a half pound of each, and I thought that the $17 I parted with was well worth it.

When I came home, I finished the second half of the blocks for the quilt, and I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment. Everything seemed to fit together fairly well, and I didn't screw up the seaming or cutting too much, from what I could tell. I put the blocks in order, and I sewed four rows of blocks together, and I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I promised the pooches a walk, so we went into town one last time after lunch.  There was some sort of arts/crafts fair going on in the plaza, but we didn't see anything that we needed/wanted.

We got home, and I started on the home stretch. There were a few areas where I needed to fill in a gap or two, but I was really pleased with how I managed to piece everything together so it fit.  Only one row wasn't exactly the same lengths as the others, but I got creative, and I don't think anyone will be able to tell which row that was.  Finally, I put everything together, and aside from mixing up the side borders with the top and bottom borders, it went without a hitch.

Throughout, Celosa sat underneath whatever chair I was sitting on.  It bugged her no end that I'd move from the sewing machine to the cutting board to the iron, but she moved whenever I did.  Fusilli spent most of his time outside on the patio, occasionally coming in to tell me that we needed to see something.  And just about sunset, I was done!

celosa quiltquilt topfusilli quilt

Now I have to learn how to quilt.  I think that this will be my next project after I finish this quilt.

After finishing the quilt top, I started straightening up to get ready to leave tomorrow.  We have a long drive and I don't want to do too much packing tomorrow.  But we also paused to make a last dinner, using the chanterelles, we made a pork chop and polenta with a wild mushroom sauce and a side of baby bok choy. Good stuff.

And now, we pack some more.


( 2 comments — Say something )
Aug. 11th, 2013 04:50 am (UTC)
I love the colours and patterns of the fabric as well as the quilt pattern. So fun!

I've never been able to piece anything like that and have it work out, so I'm in awe! <3
Aug. 11th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
my mother, 23 years ago, decided that she was going to make for me an irish chain pattern quilt. (and if quilting itself isn't what you want, you can always *tie* the quilt instead!) that was 23 years ago. since then i've remarried, had a son, mama moved and cared for my grandmother till she passed, i relocated back to texas, divorced and remarried...

and she still is moving things around in the house and *finding* the quilt squares then forgetting where she put them. (everything is pinned together, squares into long strips...but it's time consuming. and for some ungodly reason, she's insisting on hand-sewing the whole thing!)

your quilt is beautiful! i love that it looks like wedding cakes and books on bookshelves. *hugs and hugs* good on you for persevering and getting the top DONE!
( 2 comments — Say something )