Those letters were such a small thing but they meant so much to J. I think they helped him feel like he had not been forgotten or left behind. I felt, and still feel, so grateful to the letter-writer. So when he recently became a father, I wanted to return part of his kindness by making something very special for his little boy.
We are really fortunate.
This one is a wonky star quilt, based on Elizabeth Hartman's Sparkle Punch quilt. I made it using only fabrics from my stash (though I did have to buy the batting).
I found the piecing fun and relatively quick, but the quilting was difficult. I think maybe my walking foot doesn't work properly - I don't ever find that it evens out the feed discrepancy of the upper and lower fabrics as much as I think it should. It's also possible that my expectations are too high. In any case, I was completely unable to keep my stitch length uniform. This is not a large quilt - about 40" square - and I tried really hard to support the weight of the quilt uniformly, but it still got stuck under the presser foot quite often because I wasn't supporting it well enough.
This was kind of disappointing because I think I have caught the quilting bug and I'd really like to attempt something larger ... but I am afraid to try something bigger than this little baby quilt. So if anyone has tips, I am all ears!
The back is pieced from leftover fabric from the quilt. I don't love it, but I was trying to work with stash and my travels around Internet quilt-land show that this is a common way to make a backing.
My favorite part of the whole process had to be the binding. I hand-sewed it on, and I found it thoroughly satisfying.
I enjoy a little hand-sewing at the end of a project. I know a lot of people hate it, but I don't mind an hour's work finishing something in front of the TV. That said, I enjoyed sewing on this binding so much more than turning up a hem. It is transformative in a way that adding buttons to an otherwise completed garment is not. A shirt without buttons still looks like a shirt - it isn't going to look that much different once the buttons are on (unless, I guess, they are crazy loud novelty buttons). But after you've quilted a quilt, but before it is bound, it still looks very unfinished and very different from the way it will look when that excess backing is cut away and those threads are trimmed. Sewing the binding on wraps up that mess in a neat little package and all of a sudden you have yourself a quilt. It is so cool!
So, there you go. Quilt #2. I'm already dreaming about #3. But I just got some new clothing patterns in the mail so I had better go sew some pants or something.