Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunshine and Shadows

My Husband and I purchased a new bed in October of last year. It’s a beautiful maple wood frame and headboard handmade by Amish Craftsmen. After the bed was set up I thought to myself “I need to make a quilt for this bed.”


My first thought was that since the bed frame and headboard were made by the Amish it would only be appropriate to have an Amish style quilt on the bed. So I began my internet search to find my inspiration. I discovered a design called “Sunshine and Shadows” that I loved. The key thing with an Amish quilt is they are all made with a specific range of solid color fabrics. Typically I would say that solid colors are boring, but this is tradition! So, on my next trip to the fabric store I carefully chose my nine solid color fabrics, went home and began to sew.


A quarter of the way through I discovered that my blocks were much larger than in my inspiration quilt. I decided to sew on, hoping I would be happy with the result anyway. When I finished piecing and looked at the quilt top - no, I was not happy with it. 




So, I folded it up, put it in a plastic storage bin in my sewing closet and began again. This time the squares were half the size and as I sewed the first quarter I found myself much happier with what I was producing. But, disaster struck - my sewing machine jammed and would not stitch for the first time in the 13 years that I’ve owned it. So, to the repair shop it went.


I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine, a circa 1974 Singer, and continued on, undaunted. As I lay out the strips I had just completed next to the first quarter I realized that the seams were just slightly off. It was enough that it wasn’t noticeable at first, but the further down the strip you looked, the more off the squares were. Apparently I had misgauged the ¼” seam allowance on the unfamiliar machine. 



Frustrated and discouraged I put it away with the other attempt. Something was telling me I was bound to not finish this quilt.


Sometimes time and distance are the best medicine for situations like this and just writing this blog post, four or so months later, and taking the accompanying photos has inspired me to try again. I may finish the larger square version, or rip out seams on the smaller square version, but either way our bed should have a finished quilt on it by the end of 2013.

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