Here they are! Finally finished! I'm not going to lie to you. These quilts were not an easy project. And like most things that I really want to make and that I find tedious, I sure did take my sweet time – 3 years, give or take a month. So when I started on these, Kate was 6 and now she is 9. It doesn't seem like it took that long, but it did. Trust me, I double checked.
The pattern is the Single Girl Quilt by Denyse Schmidt. Both fronts are exactly the same layout – the patterned prints are from the Swell line by Urban Chiks (long out of print) and the solid is Kona cotton in raffia. I sweated my decision to use a khaki color as the background and I am happy with how it turned out. Kate's other bedding is all white and her room just needed some grounding neutral. It's good.
The backs are similar. The prints in the patchwork strips are slightly different – I used scraps for those. I am glad you all talked me into the print for the main backing fabric. I was leaning towards the solid and in the end I think it would have been too drab. So thank you. It turned out great.
I can tell you that if you really love a quilt pattern (like I I do this one), even if it is a challenging one (like this one), attempting it and finishing it (curse words and all) is so very satisfying. There is nothing particularly difficult about sewing this together, curves and all, if you take your time. Well, maybe you don't want to take three years, but you know, go slowly.
I think one of the reasons I stalled on finishing these quilts was because I could not make up my mind on how to quilt them. The hand quilting template that comes with the pattern is what I really wanted, but I knew that I would not have the patience to hand quilt two of these. I thought about having someone else long arm quilt them for me, but in the end, decided that I wanted to finish these myself. Call me crazy, call me strange, but it is really important to me that each of my daughters have a quilt that is entirely mom-made. These are Kate's. I toyed with free-motion loops and figure eights, but after constructing a test square and giving it a go, I ditched that idea. In the end, I went with the original hand quilting template, but used my walking foot to quilt the concentric circles. I made a huge template out of card stock and transferred the pattern to the quilt tops with a water soluable pen. It was a bit difficult manipulating all that fabric through my machine, but it worked just fine in the end and I got the look I wanted in much less time than I would have if I'd done it by hand.
Sometimes when I start an ambitious project and it becomes tedious or taxing, letting it sit for awhile is the best I can do. If I really love it, really want it, really will enjoy it, I will come back to it and I will finish it. When I realized this, it was a big "Ah-ha!" moment for me. It doesn't matter if I can't finish something right away. Given the time, I will get it done. So there you have it. Two quilts in three years. It took me longer than I had planned, and definitely longer that I would have liked, but I am so happy that I stuck with it and finished them. After all, good things come to those who wait.