Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Quilt in a Week

You may have noticed that I haven't checked in for a while... I have been busy sewing for a change! Ok, so it's not quite a "quilt in a day" but for evening sewing while working full time it's not too shabby.

I present to you, "Grandad's Quilt," sorry for the lack of a fancy pants name but I was exhausted by the time I finished the binding on this one (and apologies in advance for not taking any process pictures of this one as it was definitely dark by the time I finished each night!)

The story starts before Christmas, when my grandad was first diagnosed with stage iv lung cancer, and time seems to have whirlwind-ed since, but to cut a long story short; the various treatments he has tried have failed him and the inhibitor has made him really ill without really having much of a positive effect so the new course of medicines are designed simply to remove his pain.

With this in mind, he was informed that he was on a waiting list for a bed at the hospice so that they can observe him and prescribe his painkillers effectively and I decided to stop putting off making a quilt for him because I could not let him stay alone in a hospice without a quilt for company.

I thought I would share my week with you;
D-1 / Sunday: Figuring out fabric requirements, shopping at the Fabric Guild and cutting, lots of cutting.
I was supposed to get started straight away, so I got to cutting out all the pieces but it was a beautiful day and I got distracted by planting vegetable seeds in the garden. Ooops, I will regret this later!

Day One / Monday: Piecing blocks
I scheduled out my week, as I am a great list maker and planned to complete 6 blocks a night for the next 5 days as each of my cut fabric strips would make 3 blocks. First 6 blocks done!

Day Two /  Tuesday: Piecing blocks
I took Shep to his obedience class, which takes up most of my evening on a tuesday and then sat at the machine until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer; 9 blocks done.

Day Three / Wednesday: Piecing blocks
While lying in bed last night (thinking about quilts, not sleeping) I decided that if I could get 9 blocks done on a tuesday of all days I should puch a little harder and be aiming for 12 blocks a night, that way I have a chance of finishing by the weekend, when I plan on going home for Mothers' Day - then I won't need to post the quilt and could hand deliver it. 15 blocks done.

Day Four / Thursday: Squaring all blocks and sashing to make up quilt top.
My grandad had an oncologist appointment today, as he does most thursdays it seems and was asked to go back in tomorrow for observation so now I really had a deadline as he was due to go in much sooner than I anticipated, but I am feeling in control of this monster with the quilt top now finished, although now the hard work starts.

Day Five / Friday: Quilting.
This is my first adult sized quilt and I had no idea how I was going to make the sandwich when I was drawing up my fabric requirements on saturday as I didn't think I had a table, or a floor or even a wall big enough, (to be honest I don't think I realised quite how big it was going to be either!) but I had decided to just get on with it and I would figure it out when I came to it. Luckily, it turned out that the finished quilt *just* fit on my living room floor for pinning- I knew it would turn out right! Quilting was fun with such a big quilt but I stuck to my tried and tested straight line quilting in the ditch around the blocks and I managed it... if you don't look to close :)

Day Six / Saturday: Binding, labelling and stray thread trimming.
I have always planned on labelling my quilts but never really know what to do and usually leave it so late that there really is no time left to figure it out, but this time it was important so I found some instructions online and printed my little message to add to the bottom of the quilt. Half an hour after finishing I packed up the car and headed for the m6 to stay with my nan as this was the first night she was going to be home alone as my other family members had all gone home.

Day Seven / Sunday: Wished my mum a Happy Mothers' Day and we all headed out to visit Grandad, quilt in tow, to find out that he had been given extra blankets as the room was too cold- how fortunate that we were bringing something to keep him cosy (and as an extra bonus the colour scheme even matches the room- although I think this may be a bad reflection on my colour choosing skills.)

I am so glad I pushed hard to get this quilt done so that I could hand deliver it, mostly for selfish reasons because I loved giving it to him and watching him glance down at it and smile while we were there, but I am also glad that he received it when he really needed it and I hope it can provide him some comfort, because it was a great comfort for me to know that I was doing something useful and productive and now I hope he realises how much I am thinking about him, everytime he sees it because even though I may be far away, I always am.

J x