Monday, August 1, 2011

Flash from the past..

Since I started down memory lane with my last post, I will just continue the theme.  The second quilt that I ever made, turned out to be kind of a bear.  Figuratively.  And literally.

It started when I was dating my husband.  He went along with me to a quilt fair because he's nice like that.  Or because he wanted to be able to say that he "took one for the team". ;) He actually ended up having more fun than he thought he would, I think, with all of the things to look at.  Plus, there is a surprising number of gadgets and machinery at a quilt fair.  Not to mention the fabrics and vendors, quilts to see, books.  He wasn't miserable.  Don't tell him I told you, though.  Let him pretend he was miserable and hated every minute of it if he ever meets you..

So while he was (ahem) taking one for the team and suffering through.. he spied a quilt that he loved..  A nice manly one, with a giant bear on it.  A lap sized/large wall hanging size quilt.  They were selling kits to make it, and he told me he would buy the kit if I would make it for him.  Um..SURE. Why not?!  It's a kit, that sounds easy and fun. HA!  Being the greenhorn I was, I thought a kit would come with all of the little pieces neatly cut with instructions for which to sew where.  Maybe labeled with letters or colored dots..  BUT, no such luck.  A few sheets of photocopied instructions, and maybe five big pieces of fabric and that was it.  I had never even used a rotary cutter before, or a cutting mat even.
Once I got started, though, it was kind of addictive.  Once I got all of the pieces cut the right size/from the right fabrics (minus a couple of mistakes that you may or may not notice on the finished quilt) it was like piecing a puzzle together.  So much fun!  When I was done doing that, though, I started thinking that my husband might enjoy it more if it was actually big enough to keep him warm.  So I started adding things to it and it kind of took on a life of its own.

First was a border on the top of it made of 3 long strips, then I made some blocks out of some screen printed animal squares and some other fabrics I got at the fair and centered those, but then I ended up needing a couple of rectangles to fill in the space so I added some plaid.  Done. .. NOT.  The rectangles looked plain, so I appliqued a tree on one, and a bear shape that I drew out on the other. Voila!  Wait.. then I blanket stitched around the shapes with embroidery floss.  That was it.  Big enough to use, and done.

Then it sat, folded up.
And sat some more.
We got married.  It was still folded up.
When we were married almost a year, I finally put it in a frame and hand quilted it.  After my VERY nice husband went out and got me some 1X2's and clamps to make a frame and lived with it taking up our ENTIRE living room for two weeks!
It is special to me for many reasons.  Because we were together when we got the kit, it was the first quilt I had ever made and framed AND quilted all by myself w/o any help.. because I didn't make any mathematical mistakes when adding all those blocks to make it bigger and it all fit together.. because when I finished it, I wasn't feeling so well, and later found out I was pregnant with out son.. and because my little sonny, who is almost 5 years old LOVED playing on it when he was a baby. *sigh*

So it really did end up being a bear to make and took longer than I thought it would, but it was all worth it! :)  Never give up!


sunny said...

Uhhh..didn't anyone tell you you're supposed to start with something easy? No? I didn't get that message either. Didn't it feel great to accomplish something like that? Great Job!!

Nic said...

Awesome quilt! And it has such a great story behind it.
Don't worry, there are many of us out there who jump into the deep end too :)

KodiakCora said...

I know this was posted 10 years ago, but I'm looking for this bear quilt pattern...any direction you can offer would be much appreciated!

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