It’s a new year! Yay! There is so much promise in this coming year. But before I get into the promise of 2021, I need to close out 2020. If I had to name this year anything, I would call it the “Year of the Quilt.” I made two quilts in the early 70’s, and then I made two in 2015. Nothing in between. When we were told to shelter in place in March of 2020, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my time. Dennis and I have always been on the go, and now we were on the stop.
I suggested the we drive up to the local fabric store and maybe I could buy some fabric and put together a quilt top. I started watching online tutorials. I saw one by the Missouri Start Quilt Co. that I thought was really cute. I bought a jelly roll, not the kind you eat but the kind you sew. A jelly roll is a roll of fabric cut into 2 1/2 inch strips the full width of the fabric, usually anywhere between 42 and 44 inches wide.
The pattern was called “Twist & Shout,” and was a little tricky for a newbie, but I had the tutorial on YouTube that I could watch over and over if I need to figure out what to do. As I started putting the squares together, the bright colors just reminded me of my oldest granddaughter, who is bright, bold and sassy. I told myself this quilt would be for her, and I had 6 months to complete it before her 25th birthday.
Actually, I completed the top in a few weeks, and shipped it from Arizona to Florida to the lady who did the long arm quilting for me in Missouri. I didn’t know anyone yet in Arizona, and I was leaving for Missouri in May and would not be returning until September. She had retired and moved to Florida, but was still doing her quilting there. It just made sense to have her do the quilting, and ship it to my Missouri him.
People started saying I got the bug. No, I just didn’t know what to do with myself with all this extra time. (I was in denial)! The summer started in Missouri and I saw a cute fabric precut that was a special once again from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Their evil ways sends me a daily email with a special of some kind, and this cute precut was one of them. Sneaky folks, they knew they could addict me to cute fabric and quilt patterns!
I cut my fabric according to my new pattern and realized I was out of sewing thread. Dennis and I had some errands to run, so he stopped at a local quilting store for me to pick up the thread. He suggested that while there I should look at upgrading my sewing machine. He sat in the car while I ran my errand. I sent him a text message to come in because I was blown away by the sewing machines and their prices and thought he would bring me down to earth and I could walk out and go back to my little cheapie machine at home. Instead, he encouraged me to get the Ferrari of all sewing machines.
Now I really felt like I needed to use this machine a lot to get my money’s worth. I went online and searched out quilt patterns that I felt were within my abilities, and then I searched for fabrics that spoke to me. My quilts are not your grandmother’s quilts. Although I think traditional quilt patterns and colors are pretty, they are not me. I need bold and colorful. That’s when I decided I needed to make a quilt for each of our children for Christmas. What else am I going to do when I cannot go anywhere with a pandemic going on.
The first quilt I started had me thoroughly frustrated. I cut some of the pieces wrong, and the meeting up of seams wasn’t to my liking. I didn’t feel like I could give such an amateur quilt as a gift. Dennis walked in the room and heard my frustration. He fell in love with the quilt and asked if he could have it. Really? He said the style, color and everything about it was Andrea, and he would love to have it. He is a sweetheart, and knew how to encourage me to continue.
By a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I had six quilt tops completed. They were all lap quilts about 55” x 55”. I found a lady in Arizona who does long arm quilting, and delivered these quilts to her. She assured me she would have them ready for me with enough time to complete with binding so they could be shipped across the country. Sue, my quilter, would send me a photo as she was quilting, and I just couldn’t wait to see the finished product. Two quilts went to California, three went to Missouri, and the one stayed home for my sweet husband.
I literally sat at a sewing machine a few hours every weekday from August to November. As I sewed each quilt, I actually thought about the intended recipient of that quilt. I just felt like I was pouring my love to them in each quilt. I hope they felt that as they received it.
We are in a new year, and I already have a few quilts in mind for specific recipients. I will not be on a time schedule for completion. I will take my time, and pour my love into each quilt.
Here are the six Christmas quilts for you viewing.