Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quilting Teamwork

I have been trying to get through my latest batch of pictures - who am I kidding? I've been trying to get through the last nine months of pictures. In naming/organizing the most recent, I found these that I meant to post last week.
Background: For each niece/nephew on my side of the family I have made a baby quilt when they are born. I would have done this for Mike's family, except I didn't know how to quilt when they were all born. Since then I've made a quilt for our two nieces on that side for birthdays- the boys aren't so interested in quilts, I believe.

Anyway - as the time for Riley to arrive got closer and closer, my mom and I decided we would make a quilt for her together. So, one afternoon she came over to start the project. Honestly, I generally pick out quilt patterns from a book I've had for YEARS that are fairly simple and straight-forward. These typically take a day (meaning 4 hours or so) to put together. However, I wanted to try something different so this time I had picked out a quilt pattern that I thought Tracy would like from a completely different book. My mom was gung-ho to try whatever pattern. However, once we started looking at the directions, we realized that what I had picked was WAY over our heads for an afternoon of quilting - possibly over our heads for a year of quilting. We even called my mom's friend Sue who was actually driving to Seattle at the time. Sue does AMAZING quilt work (check out her stuff here). She knows our limitations (which are many) and I think in her nicest way tried to dissuade us from taking this on.

Anyway - mom, Jake, Maddie and I headed to the fabric store with my trusty old book and picked out a whole new set of fabrics. Really, this hardly took any time - they seemed to jump off the shelf at us! We decided on a ladybug theme and really really hoped the doctors weren't wrong that she was having a girl!

A few days later we got to work. Maddie and Jake wanted to help too so we were all assigned jobs:
I'm basically in charge of whatever mom doesn't like to do. This involves mostly cutting (she hates math) and reading the directions. I did also get to iron when Maddie got tired/bored of it. I guess I'm the stand-by on all operations.

Maddie ironed, and took pictures. Hence no pictures of her ironing. However, I did tell her to try and take pictures that "told a story". This is the picture she grabbed of my mom - probably while I was reading through the directions for the 15th time.

Mom sewed...

Jake was in charge of lifting the presser foot on the machine when each pass of mom's was completed. Generally this involved me looking over to see him start lifting the presser foot by trying to anticipate when mom should be done with that pass. Bad idea. For those who don't recall Home-Ec 101, the presser foot is pretty important to keep down while sewing so your seam stays not only straight, but also so the stitches stay the right tightness and length.

Apparently Maddie's other "story" was that her mom was paying no attention to little brother playing with scissors (at least he wasn't running with it):

Jake and mom were also in charge of keeping the material in the right sequence that Maddie was giving it to them in. Let's just say they may not make the greatest collaborative team in the history of sewing.

This took a couple afternoons. Finally mom and I were able to quilt it on her big machine. This machine is great because it can make these fancy quilt patterns and we aren't stuffing this quilt through the hole of a little machine. Not fun to do - trust me, I've done it twice with queen size quilts and once with a twin size.

So here's our finished product. And thankfully, Tracy did end up with a girl. Mom and I were getting really nervous whenever Tracy would tell us about someone coming up to ask what she was having and then tell her she was wrong - that it was going to be a boy. As you can see, Riley has plenty of room to grow into it!

Hopefully someday I'll get around to piecing that other quilt that I have all cut up and ready to go. I believe I'm going to have to ask for some help at that point...I'll make sure to pick a date when Sue isn't heading out on vacation.


Sue H said...

Kerry, you and Maddie tell a WONDERFUL story. I love how Riley's quilt turned out, and the picture of her on it! That's a keeper. (The quilt, the baby, and the picture!)

Kerry said...

Gotta give kudos to Tracy for the pic of Riley - she took that a couple days ago. But, thanks for the compliments on the other stuff!

missy said...

great job with the pics Maddie. Maybe a quilt with cars for Aaron sometime and a cardinals one for Steven even if it is a small one they wouldn't care.