By the skin of my teeth.

Dear friends,

I finished my very first quilt earlier this week . . .

. . . the one I started in this post, and struggled mightily with in this post, and finished the “flimsy” in this post. (By the way, a “flimsy” is a quilt top waiting to be quilted.)

If you’re doing the math, I started and finished the quilt top in about month. Then I did nothing for nearly three months.

Well, not exactly nothing. Actually, I started six additional quilts and finished five of them. But the first one — well, it languished.

I can’t explain why because I had a deadline. And it was the most sentimental of all my projects. I had intended to finish the quilt in time for Kate to take it back to college. I knew it might take a month or two for a quilter to quilt it for me (waits of 4-8 weeks are common in the quilting world), so by mid-July when I had failed to wrap up the finishing touches, I knew I had blown my deadline. Earlier this summer I had purchased Kate a store-bought quilt for her home bed, so I told her to take it to college instead and maybe we’d have her mother-crafted quilt ready by Fall Break.

So a couple of weeks ago I knuckled down and spent a Saturday finishing up the final details. I pieced a backing and I spent a few hours hand-embroidering Kate’s name and the date on one of the blocks. Then I bundled the whole thing up and delivered it to a friend’s mother who promised to put it in the hands of her favorite expert quilter several hours away.

Unfortunately, the “expert” was backlogged past November.

This did not fit into my plans.

Fortunately, my friend’s mother graciously agreed to do it for me instead. (This is a woman who’s been quilting for decades and had more than one quilt accepted at the prestigious Paducah quilt show, so I’m not really sure how she doesn’t consider herself the “expert.”) She knew Kate had left for college two days earlier and my deadline was blown, but she inexplicably decided to do it right away anyway.

There is where it gets weird.

Turns out, Kate ended up coming back home unexpectedly. She had left a week early in order to attend a wedding and shuttle her tennis teammates from the big-city airport to their small-town college. But with several days left before classes started, she decided to make another trip home for more gear.

About two hours after Kate arrived home, my friend’s mother called to say she had finished quilting Kate’s quilt. This gave me a little more than 24 hours to bind the quilt and FINISH-finish it before Kate headed back to college. It wasn’t ideal, but I stayed up well past 2:00 am that night and crossed the finish line with less than four hours to spare.

And Kate drove back to college with quilt in hand, as originally planned.

Can I get an amen?

Oh yeah . . . Would you like to see it?

(I thought so.)


Here’s a close-up view:


And here’s a photo Kate texted me after she made her bed at college. It sure made my heart happy to know she’ll be sleeping under my labor of love every night.


(It didn’t make me happy that she didn’t pack an iron and her new bedskirt is wrinkled, but that’s the mother in me, I suppose.)

With gratitude {for serendipitous but totally cool outcomes},

Joan, who thinks the Pottery Barn Teen sheets we snagged on deep discount are a perfect match