Last fall, my good friend Karen decided it was time to clean out her fabric stash. She sent me some stuff she thought I could use. I saw one huge piece (original price tag still on it), and it screamed "blanket" to me.
I have no idea why I didn't get right to work on it (or why I didn't iron it for this picture). Maybe I was busy. Maybe I remembered the half done, falling apart, not even close to square baby blanket I tried to make 2 years ago.
But my craft closet was overflowing, so I decided to start on it. Seemed easy enough. It's just three pieces of fabric on the front, and 4 on the back (more on that later). It has quilt batting inside. I laid it out on the dining room floor and pinned it together with 200 quilting safety pins. Then I noticed the backing was just too darn small. I took all the pins out. I added another piece of fabric to the back. I pinned again.
Next up, drawing out the grid for the yarn ties. Left to right was easy since they are on the stripes. I'd get a line or two marked and realize I was going sort of diagonally instead of straight. I was crawling around on top if it, cursing. Tried again. I'd try to square it up to the previous lines. I'd get half way down a row at 4 inch intervals, and then the next square spot would be 3.5 inches. Ugh. I was almost ready to throw in the towel.
Then, magic. Magic in the name of Grandma Mary. She came over last week, and we were talking. She was telling me about every blanket she's ever made. There's a quilt in her guest bedroom that I love. She was telling me she was just going to lightly quilt it, but then looked down and realized she was on the wrong row. Instead of taking it out, she just did more work to hide her mistake. I think she said she was going to quilt ever other seam, but got off a row. So she ended up doing twice as much work. And then she said, "once your blanket is laying on the bed, you'll forget in a week that some of your ties are a quarter inch off. And no one else will even notice in the first place."
I got back to work. Marking it. Stitching and knotting the yarn. Making bias tape. Machine sewing the bias tape to the front, and then hand stitching it to the back. It isn't perfect, but I was happy. I washed it. Half the knots didn't hold up so well. Last night I was crawling around on the floor yet again to fix those. Then I tossed it in the dryer and went to bed (which explains the wrinkles).
It's for Ellie. Fabric from my dear friend Karen. Made by me on my Mamaw Judy's sewing machine. She was there with me in spirit. Sage advice from Grandma Mary gave me the push I needed to finish it. I hope Ellie sleeps well under it for many nights to come.