Thursday, March 31, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

Finally...
finished one!

I am proud to say that I have completely, totally finished my first “official” hand-quilted quilt.

Well, it’s not really a “real” quilt. It’s a wall-hanging — about a foot and a half square. And I still need to “sign” it. I’ve learned from the “quilt police” that if you don’t sign, date and document a quilt of any kind, well, future generations won’t know a thing about it and something terrible and really awful will happen.

I can’t imagine what, as when anything I quilt becomes antique, I’m fairly sure I will have gone on to “the fabric store in the sky,” but I’m not taking any chances.

I made the wall hanging for my friend Fran in Virginia Beach. I haven’t seen her in about 25ish years, but thanks to e-mail, we have retained our wonderful friendship across the miles and years.

She doesn’t know about the quilt yet, so don’t tell her.

It’s a different kind of quilt — I put a picture printed on fabric in the middle of it. When Fran’s first grandbaby ever was born, I made Thea a christening gown. When Thea was christened, Fran emailed me photos. I took one of those photos — of son Jeff, wife Debbie and beautiful Thea in her christening gown — printed it out on computer printer fabric stuff and made it the centerpiece.

I have a couple of my mother’s buttons on it and a leftover scrap of lace from my daughter’s wedding dress and other odd-and-end bits and pieces. The computer fabric stuff was even leftover from another project.

I made my first quilting stencil for this quilt; it’s the first thing I’ve ever hand-bound and it’s the first thing I’ve ever “really” quilted — hand or otherwise.

The edges are not perfectly straight, but the crocheted lace that makes an inner border is not quite straight (no, I didn’t crochet the lace, I can’t crochet a straight line!). Just adds to its “uniqueness.”

I can see a bunch of stuff on this quilt that isn’t “perfect.” Sunday, a quilting expert and friend who was looking at it said someone once told her that “if it was perfect, it wouldn’t be a quilt.” I like that!

I can also see a bunch of stuff on this quilt that is “perfect” — Jeff, Debbie and especially beautiful Thea; the love and happiness on their faces and the joy of the occasion.

And, if I know Fran, she might see the imperfections of my first quilt, but they won’t matter.

What will matter to her is the beautiful baby in the center and the fact that every stitch, every bit of fabric, lace, every button and piece of ribbon was sewn on there with love.

That’s what makes every quilt perfect!


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