Thursday, July 8, 2010

This should clear up some space.

Double wedding ring
This is a King sized, Double Wedding Ring quilt. I started it back in 1999 I think, Sika please tell me when I'm wrong. It's the second quilt I ever started. I wanted to make something for a dear friend, and so I let her pick the pattern (double wedding ring) and two of the fabrics. I didn't actually find the curves that difficult to sew, probably because of my clothes sewing experience. I did have trouble matching the corners, but then, I still have that problem.
The fabrics Sika picked are the square in the middle and when sewing the arcs, I tried to arrange the fabrics so that each one had a color in common with the fabric on either side. There are lots of fabrics in there that reminded me of her, an African print, stars, sunflowers, and even some of the couch cover from her Mom's couch when we were teenagers.
55: Quilting
The top was pieced in less then a year. What took me so long was two things. I decided to hand quilt it, although really, that was probably only responsible for five years of the delay. The big problem was that after I had it basted and had started quilting it, one of my roommate's cats peed on it. And then another of the cats peed on it. And then the original cat peed on it again. Turns out, you can't dry clean an unbound quilt. You also can't throw it in the washer and dryer. I washed it in our bathtub as soon as I found the problem, but I was packing up to go on a 6 month road trip and had to box it before it was completely dry. I left it with friends, with instructions to take it out of the box so it could finish drying, but they forgot.
When I unpacked it after my trip, it was moldy. I washed it again, this time in my parent's laundry room sink, which was much easier. Then I hung it outside to dry and made sure all the mold was dead. All the original stain and smell was gone, but the mold stains were still there. Discouraged, I put it away for a couple of years, so that I wouldn't start to hate it too much.
I quilted symbols in the center of each circle. Each one meaning different things that I wish for Sika, or that make me think of her. The cross of Lorraine is on there, and the symbol for her astrological sign, and a great many things that are inside jokes, or that I shouldn't mention on the internet. I used some of the fabric I dyed last year for the binding.
Then I had to wait for a good stretch of sunny weather, which finally arrived after the 4th. I spent most of one day bleaching the little spots off of the (fortunately white) fabric. I'm surprised that except for one tiny spot, the mold avoided all the colored bits. I threw it in the wash and then hung it up to dry in the sun for a day. It looks as close to perfect as it possibly can, and it's ready to give away, just in time for summer. Unless she wants to wait until I get the label made for it. Based on past performance, that should take only 6 months or so.
I would say that it's a fitting metaphor for our friendship. You can't make it through 20 odd years of knowing anyone without a few cats peeing on you. Or something like that.
You would think that after all this time together, I would have a name for it. You would be wrong. I really am that bad at naming things. If you have a suggestion, let me know. Like I said, it hasn't been labeled yet.


  1. That is a gorgeous quilt! (and quite a story!)

  2. What an epic story. I'm so pleased that you finished it in the end. It's not really going to matter what you call it, it's a testament to friendship (finished quilt or otherwise) rather than anything else.