When I showed the mister this quilt top and told him it was all paper-pieced, he was not nearly as impressed as I had hoped, but then, he doesn't have a clue about paper-piecing and how difficult it can be for someone who UNsews more than she sews! Not wanting the mister to feel left out, to not be in the know, I explained how every piece was sewn with a paper foundation and just when I got to the part about removing the paper, I noticed the mister's eyes were glazed over as if he was in some kind of trance. It was only then I realized my words had fallen on deaf ears as the TV was on the Military Channel and I had been competing for the mister's attention with a guy talking about the M16 rifle, the mister's mistress. The M16 is sleek, shiny and smooth...me and my quilt top did not stand a chance. When the M16 show was over, the mister picked up the quilt top and studied it, and then said, "Wow, this is really soft, doesn't feel like paper at all!"
Two thoughts come to mind when I look at this quilt top: 1. It was a total buggar to make! 2: It's probably my all-time favorite quilt. I'm convinced that only left-brain people should paper-piece. Logic is needed, there's a pattern, a system, a methodical placement of fabrics that make paper-piecing extremely accurate...something right-brain people are not entirely comfortable with. I have done my share of paper-piecing, and while I love the outcome, I really hate the process. And with this quilt, it was a very, very long process!
About 3 1/2 years ago I saw this pattern online - and fell in love with it! I showed Lori and Kareena the pattern and suggested we all make it together - thinking we'd get together, share fabrics and sew our little brains out. How hard could it be? They laughed. After a bit of convincing they both agreed to make the quilt with me. Lori volunteered to sew through a ream of vellum paper so we would all have the patterns. (Vellum is much easier to remove than regular paper.) I donated my bin of green fabrics to the cause and we were off and running...well, not really. After closer inspection of the pattern I realized there was no way I could do it...paper-pieced-triangles...who was I kidding?!?
Lori thought better of the idea, too, and it was only Kareena who, perhaps naively, went ahead with it. She was relatively new to quilting so maybe at the time she didn't realize what she was getting herself into?! It wasn't long after we divvied things up that Kareena moved to China for two years; during that time she worked on this project, sewing 52 blocks together before she realized she HATED it! When she returned from China she brought the project to me - said she didn't care if I finished it or not, she just never wanted to see it again and it needed to be out of her house!
That was last year. I was both stunned and happy...stunned after all that work she could/would give it up...and happy that she did! Then reality hit...she may have sewn 52 blocks together but that left 48 to be finished!! Gulp. 48 blocks to finish. 48 blocks that I sewed and UNsewed and REsewed over the course of a year. (While Kareena can say she sewed half of this quilt, I can say I sewed the other half 4 or 5 times!) But finally, after all that work, it was time to sew those blocks together...and that should have been the easy part but there were "things"...little snippets of corners that were missed where the fabric ran short!! Right when I was about to cross the finish line I ended up spending hours sewing on little pieces of fabrics to those missed spots. I may have cursed someone at that point!
All is well now...it's done. It's finally done. And it is my very favorite quilt. I love everything about it. I especially love that it's finished! I didn't follow the pattern exactly, surely that's not a shock, because I felt it needed more geese in the forest, so I added in more red - besides, red is a neutral for me! This is a Twiddletails pattern, designed by Anina and it's available by clicking here.
I've decided that this quilt top doesn't need the usual aging that most of my tops get, where they sit in a basket for long periods of time before they're quilted. I want to get this one quilted as soon as possible...it just kind of screams hand-quilting...crazy, no? What would you do?
Thanks to Lori and Kareena...without their help I wouldn't be the proud owner of this magnificent quilt!