I blogged about being excited to receive my packet of blocks way back here.
The next month, DD1 moved back home from college in MN after just one extremely homesick semester. That was, I thought, just a slight adjustment, and that I'd get to putting those blocks together into a quilt by the following summer, so that it would be ready when Fall came again.
Ha ha. Boy, was I wrong. Looking back from five years, and many (more than slight) adjustments to our living arrangements later, DD1 moving home from MN was not a small blip in a radar that returned to normal. It seems, instead, to have been one of many bumps that sent me way, way off course. Because other than a few Christmas or birthday presents here and there, and two baby quilts (this one and this one), I really haven't done nearly as much sewing after 2013 arrived.
In fact, for most of this year, my sewing machine has been pretty unreachable, buried against the far wall of the room it's in, with a whole bunch of other stuff (quite a bit belonging to people other than me) between it and the doorway.
Kind of how I feel, buried in tasks, quite a few 'dumped' on me by other people.
This past weekend, when DH was up north helping his mom with a project yet again (the fifth weekend he's done so since--and including--Memorial Day weekend) and DD1 was also out of town, and I decided that for once I was not going to bust my butt doing tasks all weekend while everyone else was gone. Not a whole lot of things have gotten done around here this summer in my opinion, and I'm totally burned out on trying to accomplish tasks on my own. Instead of working on something on the to-do list or the project list, I waded my way (OK, maybe more like bushwhacked, as there was quite a bit of shoving involved) to my sewing machine and retrieved it from the mess in what was once, oh say five years ago, my sewing room. Then I dug out those quilt blocks from that swap in 2012. And the fabrics I'd bought, in 2014, for borders and backing to make those blocks into a finished quilt. Oh,and the batting I'd also bought, in 2014, when making those two baby quilts (I had bought extra, with the plans to finish the Fall 2012 swap blocks as well as another set of blocks.)
I hauled all that, plus my ironing board and iron, rotary cutter, mat and ruler, downstairs to the dining room. Then, I commenced measuring, cutting, and sewing. And doing math, and more cutting, and more sewing.
I thought I would have this quilt finished by Saturday night.
I was wrong. First off, the fabric I'd bought for the backing ended up being a wee bit short of what I needed. Like, not even half a yard. Since it had been purchased three years ago, at a quilt shop on hour away, running out for an extra half yard just wasn't possible that day. Probably not possible any day, as the fabric probably was no longer available. So I had to improvise with what I had on hand. That required a lot more math. But I got it figured out.
Reassessed my timeline, and I thought I would have the quilt finished before DH (or DD1) got back home on Sunday.
Nope. My machine jammed up. Because, of course, it's been sitting in a pile of assorted boxes, books, clothing, etc gathering dust, all year. And it hasn't been oiled in several years. So, dust plus dry machine plus about eight hours of sewing going on in two days equaled having the needle stuck in the down position and nothing moving when I pushed the foot pedal or tried to manually turn the flywheel.
Do you know, it's about impossible to find info on taking apart and servicing your own sewing machine? How frustrating! Finally, I found one video of a guy (who does sewing machine repair) taking the front and back off of the exact same machine I own, although for a different reason than why I was hell bent on getting to the guts of my machine. I did manage to free my quilt by using a pair of tin snips to cut the needle and then lifting the quilt off the piece of needle that was still stuck in the sewing machine
So, the quilt didn't get finished Sunday, and it didn't get finished Monday either. BUT, with DH's help, I did get my machine opened up, cleaned, oiled and fixed. All without having to take it to a service place. Yay me! Saved some cash there!
Today, I finally finished it. Several days, and many more hours longer than I'd planned. I quilted it by stitching in the ditch around the border, the sashing, and the design in each individual block. The back has it's own border made from the same fabric as the border on the front (how I solved the problem of my backing fabric being scant) and the different blocks can be identified by the quilting.
It is 60" x 60" square. I intend for it to be a seasonal throw on the back on the living room couch. Doing double duty as both decor and a nice warm blanket to snuggle up in on chilly Fall days
front, partially quilted
(taken yesterday once it had been freed from the machine!)
front, with quilting finished
(I think the quilting makes the blocks really pop)
back, showing quilting
(still needing thread ends trimmed)