Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The life of a quilt

Dear Mom,
With a shiny new engagement ring on my finger and the ink still drying on my License to Practice Dental Hygiene in the State of Indiana, I did what all graduates/brides-to-be did in 1982. (NOT). I took a quilting class. At the end of the 4 week class I had a set of placemats- an Ohio Star, a Drunkards Path, an applique and I can't remember what the 4th one was. My goal after the class ended, in fact, the whole reason for taking the class, was to make a queen sized quilt for our bed. For some reason making this quilt was as important to me as picking out china. Go Figure. Good thing ours was a long engagement.  And why I thought I could jump from a 4 week quilt class with 4 placemats under my thimble to a QUEEN sized quilt I have no idea, but it never occurred to me to do it any differently. (There is probably something very psychologically revealing in this, but as Popeye would say- I am what I am.)

Need I say it? The quilt was finished in plenty of time.

The entire thing was hand quilted.

I've never quilted again.

The quilt, probably days after moving in. I want to laugh at the stark white walls of our apartment. And that I decorated (?!) the headboard with a framed picture, candlesticks and a dried flower arrangement. 
And as much as I loved this quilt then and the colors I chose, they are not what I would choose if I were to do it all again today.

Five years later, we were still using the quilt, and letting our dog sleep on it.

I see that my romantic notions of decorating the headboard have been replaced by a book and telephone.And that we still have stark white-ish walls and no artwork.

That quilt lived hard, was the best for napping under, was faded by the sun and wearing out in so many places it was overwhelming to me to think of repairing it. Plus my hand quilting stitches were never that good to begin with and there were sections that looked as if they had never been quilted at all. Eventually the quilt was folded up and stored away in an "I'll just fix that some other day" spot.

I don't know how long ago I decided that using the quilt for another purpose was better than not using it at all, and I will probably spend time in Quilt Purgatory for this, but I cut the quilt apart and made some placemats. Another cut and I made an ironing board cover.

Which brings me to yesterday.

When I purchased my spinning wheel, Daphne Joy, one of the main reasons I chose her was her ability to fold up and travel easily. Ashford makes carrying cases especially for the Ashford Joy wheels, but I would rather spend the $110+ on roving. Still, I felt like Daphne was sort of exposed when I carried her outside without benefit of a cover.

On one of my blog wandering days- don't we all have those?- I stumbled across the Two Kates Bag. I measured Daphne and dug through some fabric scraps, found more quilt parts and voila!~ a Two Kates Bag big enough for Daphne.

Rather than sew the handles together as the pattern instructs, I left them separated and added snaps so I could close the bag inside Daphne's built in handle.

By the way- next time you need a blog wandering day- take a look at Needled- the blog where I found the Two Kates Bag. Kate Davies is an inspiration.