I started this quilt in 1988, when I first moved from home and was living in London, my sister in law was working as a gopher in Norman Hartnells couture house (one of the queens dressmakers) she brought me a bag of scraps, that was what got the quilt started...so some of these might be off cuts from the queens frocks...
I am aware as I type this, that some of you reading won't have been born when I started this quilt. But tonight I finally finished it. The individual squares were sewn over a period of about a year or so...then there was a break and I added more squares...then time elapsed....a lot of time...eventually I sewed them all together...then more time elapsed, I made a quilt sandwich and started to quilt...mega fail, with puckers and all sorts of bad things...so I ripped the top from the back and then more time elapsed (are you seeing a pattern yet?)...then on the 13 quilts in 13 years thread, someone suggested a challenge to finish your oldest WIP, so I decided to give this one last go. I didn't think it would be done this time, as the deadline was the end of jan, and I had my daughters 18 birthday party and a lot of work commitments.
One of the reasons this didn't get done in recent years was because I don't actually like this so much any more. My tastes have gone from log cabin to more contemporary styles...plus the sewing is AWFUL!>..there are so many missed bits, frayed bits and nothing lines up! so much has happened since I started it.
I got my degree, MSc and Phd.
I got married and divorced.
I had a daughter (who turned 18 yesterday)
I moved from london, back to Ireland, then to australia, then back to Ireland.
This quilt has moved house ten times (it didn't come to australia with me, it lived in a shed for three years while I did)
I've bought 4 houses and sold two (negative equity is bitch!), bought three cars and sold two, visited 22 countries
I have had too many heartbreaks, I have had wonderful times, great experiences, made wonderful friends... and just life stuff really.
I honestly was starting to wonder if it would ever get done, but then I had a brainwave the other day. I had this old quilt that I bought years ago in a charity shop, lovely fabric, but torn and worn beyond repair.
the two sandwiched together, with the torn patchwork in the middle
so I thought that I would combine the two, It went OK, the top of the quilt was done with such slapdash gusto, that it didn't really lie flat, so I didn't do too much quilting, just enough to hold the the layers together, and this time with no puckering...then to my horror I realised that I had missed a rip on the back...arrgh...and far too lazy to start again, I made another square for the back to cover up the rip. The dates embroidered in the centre of the patch..and bound in a plain dark blue binding
...followed by a happy dance...the beast is finally done!!
and despite the fact that I don't think that there is one beautiful piece of fabric in this, not one single piece of new fabric, everything was old, second hand, scrap or salvaged from clothing....there is not one regular, even square...and the quality of the stitching is so poor...given all of that.....it actually looks well now that it is done.
I pieced the top, during one of the most emotionally painful times in my life...so I am reluctant to sleep under it...so I am going to put it on the guest bed for now...
I am just happy that it is done...
and a final gratuitous shot..