Ah… the baby quilt. Nine months always seems like plenty of time to throw one of these puppies together, and it never, ever is.
I started this quilt when I was about two months pregnant. Given the time constraints, I decided to use my sewing machine to make it. Keep in mind that THIS is my sewing machine:
Yep, that’s a Kenmore 117.959, made in 1948. It does work, though it only sews in two directions: forward and back. It has a thigh-treadle, which you push with your right knee/thigh area as you sew. Though it functions well, I discovered over the course of this project that I’m not a machine sewing kind of gal. Despite the fact that I rotary-cut all the pieces, and sewed them as carefully as possible, once again they weren’t all that accurate when I went to assemble them. I even used my rotary cutter and a bias square and cut them all to be exactly the same size. No luck.
That said, I got the top pieced in a few weeks. I used a pattern from a book, and based the colors around purple and green, which were my main nursery colors. I was able to use several fabrics my best friend had sent me as a gift a few years before, which gave the selection a nicely personal touch.
Then I started to quilt it. I hadn’t done a lot of quilting at this point. I’ve always liked the look of quilts that are quilted “in the ditch,” which means in the seam line. What I didn’t realize until I tried it is that this is best done with a sewing machine, not by hand. Sticking my needle through four layers of cloth and batting was nearly impossible. Those teeny stitches I’d seen on quilts at the country fair were not going to happen here.
I gave up when I hit nine months pregnant. “I’ll finish it later,” I thought.
Five years later, to be precise. One day I pulled it out of my project armoire and decided to just finish it, big stitches or no.
My son does sleep under it, in the winter, as an extra blanket. And he loves it because he knows the story behind it. Now that’s it’s done, I really like it, too. But I will never, ever machine-piece a quilt top again.
And no more baby quilts.