Bees, Swaps, QALs, and HopsCompleted 2013

The Never-Ending Quilt

Oh, this red and aqua quilt. I’ve been calling it the Never-Ending Quilt because it felt like I would never ever finish it. I’d grown tired of it, bored with it, so over it that working on it became joyless. I was determined to finish it because it was basted and partly quilted so it seemed like the worst was over. And also because I wanted those basting safety pins to use for the other 10 quilt tops I have waiting in the wings. Mostly that.

Red & Aqua | Detail

About half of the blocks in the quilt came from a Red + Aqua Bee I took part in almost three years ago. It was a mess of a bee where even the host dropped out, but I was one of the early months so I came away with most of my blocks (thank you, bee friends!) Oddly enough, I even received a block (maybe two) many months after the bee ended. The package was the original one I’d mailed, all shredded and taped up, and marked something like “address unknown/return to sender.” I expected that my package had gone astray and inside I would find the red and aqua strings I’d mailed out. But no. Inside were two finished blocks. I remember turning them over and over in my hands and looking again and again at the package, not comprehending. Until I realized what they’d done. I guess that is one way to save on postage. Oh, failing US postal service, you silly fool…

When I had all of the blocks together, I decided the quilt needed some pink so I made 14 additional blocks, ’cause why not? Why take the easy way out and just use the lovely blocks others made for me? Not this girl.

Red & Aqua | Detail

This vintage quilt top I found for a song was my inspiration:

Vintage String Quilt 2 (Detail)

{That quilt is badly made and mostly polyester but I just love it. Some day I will quilt it and use it.}

The jury is still out on whether the red sashing is a good or bad addition. But there is no doubt about the binding. It’s my favorite part. I love a scrappy binding (this one is made entirely with leftovers bits from my Black + Aqua Quilt which makes it even more awesome because I didn’t have to cut anything!).

Red & Aqua | Scrappy Binding

I basted this quilt when it was over 100 degrees in July and I was 6 months pregnant. You can assume that means I didn’t do a stellar job. Because I didn’t. There are some lumps/folds/puckers/acne. Quilt acne! That’s what happens when you baste with a basketball affixed to your midsection.

What to call the quilting design? Scallops? I love the look of it, but it was a bad choice for an all-over design on a such a large quilt (better suited to filler in limited areas). I will do this pattern again, but I will use it wisely.

Red & Aqua | Detail

I have a dislike/hate relationship with this quilt. We are working on it. Taking things one day at a time. It’s not you, quilt, it’s me. I need some space. It would be good for us to see other people. I’m definitely going to start seeing other quilts and lots of other fabrics. Truth be told, I’ve been seeing other quilts and fabrics the whole time you’ve been in the picture.

Red & Aqua | Back

One day, probably this July, in fact, I will be sitting on this quilt with my little family, listening to a concert at the Arboretum or watching fireworks in Fair Park, and I will love this happy and patriotic quilt, boils and all. But today I’m going to fold it up and tuck it out of sight while I work on prettier things.

Dimensions: 76″ x 78″

Fabrics: a huge assortment of red, aqua and pink strings, Lipstick Ta Dot from Michael Miller (backing)

Quilting Thread: Aurifil 50 wt #2600

Started: May 2010

Completed: April 2013


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