My first completed quilt was finished last summer for a dear couple friend of ours who welcomed their first child, Eden, to this world. R&L decided to enjoy the surprise finding out the gender at birth and went with a gender neutral brown/green theme for the nursery. As soon as I heard the colors, I knew I’d have to make a quilt in the green/brown combo of Lily & Will fabrics from Bunny Hill Designs for Moda Fabric. It is the most precious fabric for a baby quilt and my favorite part was the bunnies in the fabric design. Mr QQ and I have two rabbits ourselves (Jack and Jill – no, I’m not joking – Mr QQ named them that) so I knew it’d be an even more special fabric selection for the quilt.
I ordered the jelly roll of Lily & Will fabric and set out to make a simple quilt using the Jelly Roll Quilt tutorial by 3 Dudes and Missouri Quilt company. So there I was with 6 months to finish a fairly simple quilt and bundles of overflowing excitement to start! Thanksgiving morning came and I got up early to start quilting before visiting the in-laws for a feast. I had been working on my mother’s older machine (an early 1980s Viking machine) that I had learned on as a child and which she had graciously loaned me until I bought my own machine. Well, about 20 min into baby Eden’s quilt, the 30 year old Viking machine quite literally went down in flames! A few electrical zaps and smoke started billowing out of the machine. Mr QQ (who was still sleeping) wasn’t sure what to make of my screams that the sewing machine was on fire. or smoking. or something like that. He blinked a few times and asked, “well, did you unplug it?” oh yeah. duh. Mr QQ still doesn’t believe that I have a PhD in engineering some days. Our 1920s cottage appeared to have an electrical surge that blew all of the surge protectors in the machine and killed.my.mothers.machine. On Thanksgiving. I didn’t have the heart to tell her for weeks. And then she kindly took it to her machine service man and he delivered the bad news. It was D.O.A. …Sigh…
So the rest (and majority) of baby Eden’s quilt was completed on borrowed machines from my friends and mother on weekends and was finished in a few spurts of productivity. I did rip out my first “stitch in the ditch” diagonal seam on the quilt during a three hour lecture one Tuesday. Sitting in the front of the class. But hey, at least I wasn’t the MD in the back nodding off – seam ripping is good for keeping the hands busy and the mind active! (Still I don’t recommend messing up 60″ of stitching). There were things I loved about this quilt – particularly finishing it! But looking back, I think of the few weekends I spent with my mom learning and pressing seams while goofing off. I’ve been married to Mr QQ for >5 years now and it’s unfortunately not that often that Mr QQ and I have a free weekend. Bless his heart to offering up a few of those weekends to watch TV downstairs while Mom and I quilted away in the sewing room. I also really enjoyed the process of making a quilt for someone special. In this case, someone we hadn’t even met yet, but her parents are so special so we had no doubt (s)he’d be as well. As we all anxiously awaited the news of the health birth, I was so excited to find out it was a little girl and to learn her name so I could hand-stitch her full name and birth date in pink on the corner plate along with a heart and my initials.
I quickly put the name plate and binding on the quilt and when Mr QQ and I visited her parents and her for the first time, we surprised them with the quilt and had it nicely wrapped up with a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit for Ms. Eden’s book library. I told her parents not to worry about hurting the quilt – the best present is to see it stained, wrinkly, and with a finger-rubbed thread barren corner from naps – a sure sign of its use and love! The seams may not have been 100% aligned and certainly not 100% straight, but this quilt was made with 100% love. As sad as I was to let go of my first quilt, I couldn’t think of a better reason to make one – Eden is the prettiest, happiest little girl and I hope she loves her quilt as much as I do!