The Unaquilter strikes twice!

Dear friends,

zebra

I’m not sure why I’ve been blogging so infrequently lately. Part of it is an exceptionally busy time at work combined with a revved-up workout schedule, but part of it is that I’ve been trying to catch up on backlogged quilts.

I finished two of my languishing projects last week. Both are for baby girls due later this spring so I really needed to get going. One quilt was for a colleague and features the most adorable and whimsical animal print ever. I had so much fun stitching up this quilt that I would have been tempted to keep it for myself had it not been crib sized.

Here’s another view of the adorable Cori Dantini fabric line.

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The second quilt features a lone, framed star on front and an impressionist floral on back. It was an improv design with mix-and-match fabrics including a couple of pink prints left over from my Cori Dantini stash.

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For some reason, this quilt gave me fits and I spent two nights ripping out row after row after row of stitches after discovering multiple puckers on the back. Ugh.

On the bright side (literally), my favorite part of this quilt was the white-on-white floral fabric with simple white quilting.

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This quilt is for a friend of my CupKate’s. I’ve known B since she and Kate met in Kindergarten. I don’t know where the time went and I can’t believe I’m already creating wedding and baby gifts for my oldest child’s friends.

Still, I had so much fun I bought another star pattern — aptly titled Swoon — that I’ve been eying for months.  And I’ve got just the girl in mind for it.

Once I cross a few more projects off my to-quilt list, that is.

With gratitude {for a busy but productive spring},

The Unaquilter, aka The Magpie, who wants to come back in her next life as a Cori Dantini-illustrated magpie

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All sewn up.

Dear friends,

babyquilt2

I crossed the finish line earlier this week with my very first quilt stitched from beginning to end.

Strangely, it was both easier and harder than I expected.

Harder in that I made so many mistakes I lost my patience during the home stretch and exclaimed to Mr. Mom “I suck!”

Easier in that a friend’s mother, who is an award-winning quilter, was mightily impressed when she heard I did this on a $65 machine purchased at Wal-Mart without necessary tools like a walking foot and a quilting guide. Hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Still, the results were not spectacular (at least not up close) and I cringed at the many visible mistakes. So I’ve gone in search of a new sewing machine, one specifically made for quilting, which I will purchase as soon as I have time to drive to our state’s capitol for a visit to a recommended dealer.

By the way, wanna see the whole thing?

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I bet you’re going to say it looks pretty good. And it does, as long as you don’t look too close. And I suppose the beautiful part is that nobody really examines a quilt up close except the quilter making it. I’ve been told by other quilters that all happy recipients can see is the love and care that went into it.

So I’ve got that going for me.

And the mother of the child — sweet little Audrey who turns 1 soon — now has a perfect “park quilt.” I wrote her a note saying it’s not too precious to lay in the dirt and I hope she’ll use it anywhere it’s needed. I also noted it will be handy if Audrey gets a tummy bug and my friend is worried about her barfing on the good bedding. I mean that with all seriousness.

I am a lot of things, but a perfectionist is not one of them. I prefer finishing imperfectly now over finishing perfectly later. I guess I have trouble deferring gratification, but it’s also reflective of a kind of fearless ambition that compels me to ignore the obstacles that frighten others. A friend once told me “I’ll say one thing about you, Joan. When you make up your mind, you’re all in.”  It made me chuckle at the time but, this week, I smiled knowing it’s the thing that’ll get me through many more challenges, including a second baby quilt I plan to stitch up for another friend very soon.

With gratitude {for the contradiction in character that allows me to be simultaneously assertive and amenable, which just might mean this girl’s found balance, though certainly not the perfect kind},

Joan, who was once told that the worst kind of perfectionist is one who claims she isn’t, a label she steadfastly resists and offers as proof the fact that she promptly mailed the quilt to her friend, flaws and all