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Although this is a guest post from someone you don't know, you can feel a bit of a kinship to Jenn anyway, since her creative fingerprints are all over it. I introduce the subject in one word:
I have been awed and inspired by Jenn's quilt projects. Quilting has long been on my list of things to learn how to do, and never got around to. (Three boys under the age of four might class as an adequate excuse!) Nevertheless, I subscribed to the online quilting magazine, faithfully browsed through the photos and articles of different patterns, and then filed them away in my brain for the "someday, but not now" days of my life that I hope will yield a little more free time for hobbies like these. I have this lovely image in my mind of sitting on the back deck, smiling on my little ones as they play in the grass, while my little needle gracefully weaves in and out of the material of yet another quilt for a wedding or baby gift. I know, I know. It's a little bit "Little House on the Prairie," but isn't there a little something in all of us that yearns for simpler times?
Then two events aligned to make someday, today. The first was a rampant and furious cleaning out of old clothes, which yielded 9 pairs of jeans that went into the garbage. The second was an article in my inbox the very next day on making a quilt out of old jeans. The coincidence was too obvious to be lost on even a sleep-deprived and busy mother.
I rescued the jeans, washed the diaper smell out of them, and started cutting. Then I laid out the pattern. Then I sewed up the squares. Then I sewed the squares into rows and sewed the rows together. And before I knew it, I had the top of the quilt! It was beautiful and big and I had sewed it all by myself! Me, who could barely manage a straight line on my sewing machine that weighs a good 50 lbs and is definitely at least 75 years old. (The thing is a workhorse, and sometimes scares me.) Me, who certainly was not raised in a sewing environment. I was lucky I had the machine at all, and the most I'd ever sewn on it before were a handful of ragged pant hems (the curse of being 5'3").
But then the work ethic disappeared on me. Jenn can attest to this. You finish the beautiful top part of the quilt, the creative juices all used up, and the quilt just sits there, waiting for the tedious and boring part of actually assembling the quilt. I asked myself more than once if I couldn't just use the top part of the quilt as my picnic blanket. After all, it was just for throwing on the ground at the park.
It sat idle for a couple of weeks before I got in gear and emailed Jenn: the instructions made no sense to me, and even once I'd laid out the quilt to finish, all I did was stare at the material, pace around the thick pile to the other side and stare at it some more. Jenn graciously invited me, my brood, my quilt, and all my sewing supplies up to her house to show me the next step.
I was a little embarrassed at how easy it was.
It took less than 5 minutes for her to have a look at my quilt and show me what to do.
I'm even more embarrassed to admit that, a week and a half later, the quilt is still in the bag I took to her house, and still unfinished.
I had hoped that posting about this quilt would spur me on to finish it, so I could post wonderful, beautiful pictures about my fantastic quilt work, the delicate handstitched detail, the subtle designs of all shades of blue and the girly touch of a pink backing. Ah well. Instead this is now a post of the perseverance required of mothers who yearn to start (and finish!) all those projects swimming around in our minds. I might be too late for this year's park season, but there will be next summer. You can be sure I will proudly tote my picnic blanket all around town, and when you see me sprawled out ready for a photo op you can say "Hey! She made that quilt all by herself! It's look fabulous!"
(Just please ignore the dirt and food and spit up and stains inevitable from three boys under four. I have no illusions it will ever look this good again!)