In speaking with the quilt in question, the one made from Mom’s shirts, we decided that my original anal plan was the one go with. It felt more comfortable. It involved less “quilty thinking” and more “Mommy thinking,” which was the whole reason to make the quilt.
I was stressing too hard about my assymetry. It happens. I retreated to my comfort zone.
There is another quilt brewing that will be a little wackier, but this one just needed to begin and be done. The angst of planning it (or letting go, as the case may be) was overshadowing its primary purpose, so Mom and I went back to Plan A.
How anal is that?
Fairly. I cut up 12 different shirts a different color. From each shirt I cut six of each of the three size.” (I planned on a few leftovers.) The fabrics were distributed evenly throughout the quilt top. I studied and squinted, and found no duplicate blocks. (If you spot one, please keep it to yourself.)
I created a series of three nesting templates so that I could center each of the four squares precisely. The grain of each patch in the block runs in the same direction. Every time I fused I smelled the detergent the Alzheimer’s facility used and I smelled Mom. I probably should have just skipped the quilt and ironed her shirts.
Originally I was going to hand blanket stitch everything in place by hand. I gave that up after the first block. Majorly annoying, a real pain in the fingers. Cotton and spandex knit does not give itself up to the needle easily. Neither does the fusible interfacing that backs each background square, nor does the fusible web 1/2″ under the raw edge. (Yes, each of the 54 6″ background blocks, all 72 blocks (and their corresponding fusible web) were fussy cut. And you wonder why this is taking so long?)
The next plan was to blanket stitch around the outside edges through backing and batting, “blanky-quilting” it down. The thought of wrestling the concentric squares (attached to the quilt) around and around made my wrists ache, so I opted to do that part block by block, pivoting at each corner. Thank you, Sulky; I love the 30 wt black cotton—all 500 yards of it. And yes, I did fish the tails to the back, tied two square knots to secure them, and hid the tails in the stitching… 216 times. Repetition frees the soul.
I joined the blocks with a sashing strips (regular quilting weight cotton) so the thick seams of Mom’s pants (the black) would never have to be folded back onto itself. It’s a heavy quilt, but it will be flat. I hand-basted each seam allowance in place with water soluble thread so that it would stay where I put it. Who knows when I’ll get to quilting it.
For right now, I’m putting it away so I can move on to other things. I’ve saved all the extra fabric. I’ll let the quilting design percolate a little before I decide exactly what to do. Too many decisions right now. I’m going to iron some more of her shirts and see what I feel like.