Saturday, May 07, 2005

Quilting on Command

Okay, I'm sure that other quilters out there can relate to this. Have you ever shown a house guest some of your precious quilted masterpieces, only to have them say "So when do I get mine?" Aaargh! I hate that! Anyway, a friend of ours (we'll call him Kevin, that being his name and all) did this to me a few months ago, and was apparently quite serious, as he has since asked after "his" quilt a number of times. So, this week, while humming and hawing on a number of smaller and more art-ish pieces in the process of being embellished, I decided to give myself a break and do a large quilt. Sounds backwards, but that's where I'm at right now. Plus, a break from beading will do my injured quilting finger good.

I pulled out the fabric I purchased with him in mind (a batik with elk, bears, wolves, moose, and deer on it along with leaves and pine cones - extremely outdoorsy and masculine) and selected coordinating batiks and balis from my stash. The theme for fabric selection was easy - hunting season! He is an enthusiastic hunter and outdoorsman, so I choose the colours of the local woods during hunting season (the late fall into early winter). I included a light cloudy fabric, a deep spruce blue-green, an orange, a dull brown, a rich brown, and a golden beige. Woo hoo! Colours that don't go well together! That'll teach him for expecting me to make him a quilt. Darn it.

When I realized how much fabric I loved would be leaving my home to be in Kevin's quilt, I decided to go with a simple design (punish him for taking fabric I love by giving him a boring quilt). So, I cut squares in 12", 6" and 3" finished sizes, and put them together in the most boring way I could. That'll teach him for demanding a quilt from me. Poop on him.

The cutting and piecing took two evenings, and I have now been quilting for two days (on my fifth bobbin). Of course, I am now in love with the quilt, and will find it hellishly difficult to part with, boring design, weird colour combination, and all. Why? Not only do I like the fabrics individually, together they have really grown on me. In daylight, they glow with the subtle fire of the northern Canadian wilderness in November. Which they should, as that was the palette I chose.

But beyond that, I tried a new quilting technique (I was so sure it would fail - teach him to demand a custom made quilt). For all previous large quilts, I broke them down into sections, quilted each section, then put them together with connection strips (see my bed quilt, early archives). For Kevin's quilt, I decided to just shove it under my machine and damn the consequences. Of course, you can shove an awfully big quilt in the neck of the Janome 6500. Instead of it dragging down and wrecking the free motion quilting (as I expected), it is quilting beautifully. And, the new pattern I decided to try doin' with the dogs down, free hand fallen leaves with a spattering of critter tracks, is great! In fact, the leaves may be my new pattern of the month (yes, I FMQ bore easily).

So, within the next two days this quilt will be finished and ready to ship off - which will piss me off mightily. I should hate it, and be thrilled to send it away, but noooooo, now I love it. Damn you Kevin! Damn you to ... Angry photos to be posted shortly. Grumble grumble complain. Musterfuss. Ergh. Et cetera. Yadda, yadda, yadda.


deb said...

So what does Kevin have to reciprocate with? Whenever someone gives me that "Where's MY quilt" routine, I have learned to quickly assess whether or not they have something, or can do something for me in return. If not, piss off! Even relatives! Except Mum and Dad, of course - it's all their fault anyway.

Logan said...

Well, he did give us the job here in mountain heaven...

Kevin is my old boss (currently DH's boss), and he let us do all the overtime we wanted in order to pay off our student loans after University - so I guess asking for a quilt is not out of the question! :)

Moedertje said...

So, where's the picture of the Kevin Quilt? Are you going to give it a funky name, 'DAPU' (debt all paid up) or 'Go Hunt Your Own Quilter'?

Love the mountain shots--can't wait to see them again for real.