Saturday, August 18, 2012 last

I should take out an ad in the newspaper (am I the only one who still reads a newspaper?) but since I'm a 21st century kind of gal, I'll use this forum to announce that I have finally finished the "quilt from hell".

 I can't remember exactly when I started this beast, but I know it's been several months.  I decided I would make a new quilt for my bed--one that actually covered up the sheets so they didn't hang out on the sides.  Then I came up with the bright idea that it should be something really special--not "quick and easy" or "down and dirty", but something that might someday be considered an heirloom.  Of course that would mean that I was dead and gone, but that's okay, too.

I had seen a beautiful quilt at Sunday Best Quiltworks in Ellerslie, GA, made by Teresa Singleton.  The patterns were based on Italian floor tiles--gorgeous.  She assured me it was not that difficult, so I bought the book.  My first mistake was to choose a quilt pattern from the book that was not the one Teresa had made.  I hadn't taken into account that patterns published by reputable companies sometimes contain errors and/or omissions.  Let's just say my life with this quilt got a lot easier once I found the "corrections" page of the author's website.

The center of the quilt is a mariner's compass, which had to be paper pieced.  Not a problem, I've done that before.  Unfortunately the pattern gave me a 20.5" square and the quilt required 22.625".  Once I had found a "fix" for that problem, I discovered that the borders I had already cut to pattern specs were too long.  It was during that stage of ripping my hair out that I found the above-mentioned website with the corrections--big relief.  

It was also necessary that I enlarge the original pattern by adding about 30 inches to both the width and length.  That meant making an additional 250+ paper-pieced, square in a square blocks (2" finished) to go with the 240+ I had already made.  Oh joy!  At this point I did seriously consider scrapping the whole project and maybe converting it to a wall hanging, but I am a very stubborn person (my Mom could tell you stories about that).

I finished piecing the top and lay it on my bed.  I wasn't sure I even liked it, but by this time, it had become a struggle between me and this demon quilt.  I began to quilt.  At 102" square, that was no small feat.  I have an HQ Sweet Sixteen quilting machine, which is a sit-down machine like my regular sewing machine, just with a wider throat to fit the quilt through.  I went back and forth between it and my Bernina machine and completed the quilting in about 3 weeks.  Sewing the binding on was a cinch and I was absolutely thrilled to put the final stitch in that baby on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at about 6 p.m.

At the suggestion of my friend, Maryanne, I named it "Perseverance".  That's a bit nicer than "The Quilt From Hell", which was the working title.  And, oh yeah, I LIKE IT.   


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