This morning I woke up feeling proud, accomplished, and satisfied. Last night at 9 p.m., I knotted my thread, cut it, and let out a sign. I finished hand sewing the binding to the back. After 18 months, I finished my quilt.
This one was my favorite—no really. I know I say that each time I work on a quilt, but this one is special. This one challenged me. This one honed skills I didn’t have when I began more than 18 months ago. This one has certainly beefed up my quilting resume.
My only disappointment, and that may be too strong a word since I’m elated with this quilt, is that it wasn’t my own design. I’m not sure why I’m stuck on that element, because I only choose to make quilts from patterns I love and want to complete, but creating my own design is the one thing I want to master. I want to sit down with graph paper and colored pencils, or at the computer keyboard and let my imagination run wild.
I’m not sure this will ever happen. After all, every quilt I make since my first quilt was complete in 2003, is uniquely my own, always one of a kind; it is similar to others, but always different. Despite all the people who have sewn this quilt commonly known as Afternoon Delight, no one has this one. The pattern, designed by the late Sue Garman, will have been made by hundreds, and perhaps even tens of thousands of people. Mine is but one of those, but still, this one is all mine. Though it was Garman’s pattern, I collected all the fabrics. I picked the the colors. I decided on the quilting designs. And, of course, I did all the cutting, piecing, hand applique, and quilting.
I have no way of knowing if I will ever achieve this element of my quilting journey—designing my own quilt. I’ve modified existing designs, which could qualify as making them my own, but in my mind, it isn’t quite the same. I hope I can someday achieve designing, but who knows. If I never do, that is OK too because I love quilting. I love every quilt I’ve ever made.
And the list is long for those I still want to make—traditional patterns—like Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Double Wedding Ring, and so many more. I plan to stay busy as long as my fingers still function and my eyes still see, despite a growing difficulty.
I’d have to go pretty far though to love a quilt as much as this one. I loved making this one. I’m enamored with this quilt. It turned out so much better than I imagined.
Finishing a quilt is always joyful, but this one has taken my breath away. I’ve loved every stitch.