Starting 2014 By Finishing . . .

IMG_4454When we were kids, my sister and I lived by rules. My mother had her own version of the 10 Commandments and the greatest among them was this:

churchsignWe were not to boast, show off, or draw undue attention to ourselves. And Mom had a look that could stop us, not to mention rogue elephants, in our tracks if we showed even a hint of an intention of show-off behavior.

Well, Mom, I’m a big girl now and, while I try to live a circumspect, modest life, I am so happy to have finished a specific project, that I’m going to start the New Year by tooting my on horn, ringing my own bell, and just generally acting goofy.

It’s done. It’s done! IT’S DONE!!

What’s the big deal, you ask? People finish quilts every day.

Yes, well, so they may, but this quilt was started when my niece was an infant and she is now 17. This quilt took longer to finish than my doctoral dissertation and that is truly saying something.

I don’t know why it took so long. I’ve finished other quilts in a more reasonable amount of time. To my defense, almost every stitch in this quilt was done by hand—hand piecing and hand quilting. But that has been true of the other quilts I’ve made—I just really hate sewing machines.

I worked on it in fits and starts and got distracted along the way by work and other hobby obsessions. I took courses in jewelry making and then started with the candy making I’ve told you about. I stopped being a college prof and became an associate dean, which took a lot of attention. Then I retired and we moved and I started doing other things and, and, and  . . .

But this quilt called to me—all it has needed, really, for about the last 5 years, was to have the edges trimmed and the binding sewed on, maybe 4 days of work.

So, I finally did it. On one of the last warm days of fall, I dragged it out to our seawall and trimmed the edges. Then candy season hit and I stalled again but last week I took the time and finally finished the quilt.

And (here comes the really immodest part!), I love it! It’s a variation on an Ocean Waves pattern and I think I invented the setting. To my eye, it’s downright gorgeous and I’m going to hang it on the wall, in a place of honor, so I can be impressed with myself every single time I see it!

I might even start another quilt. I have dozens of little patches left over from piecing the top of this one and I have ideas. And working on a quilt is another great way to stay warm in the winter.

But, first, I have to do penance. Forgive me, Mother, for I have sinned—I showed off.

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65 thoughts on “Starting 2014 By Finishing . . .

  1. A stunning piece, worthy of self adoration on all levels! I think Evel would be OK with that, just this one time. I think I remember the first pieces being cut back in WallyWorld? Congratulations on your labor of love. Can’t wait to see it on the wall.

    • You DO remember me starting it at Wallyworld–I remember being so motivated . . . we can see how that turned out! Ha! I haven’t heard from Evel yet but she’ll be its biggest fan, I’m sure! Miss you!

    • Thanks! This quilt isn’t actually going to the niece. One of the things that derailed me was making a baby quilt for her so I remember how long ago this one was started. I did finish hers while she was still a babe in arms–yay!

  2. So happy that you are such a show-off! How else would we see and fully appreciate such a lovely quilt?!! I had meant to start a quilt last Christmas but put it off until after I move, (I have yet to move). I’m envious of your creativity (and now I must go do penance for my sin of envy- a few Hail Marys” should do it 😉
    and so impressed with your doctorate too, btw.
    best,
    maureen

    • Thanks for the really nice comment, Maureen! When you do start your quilt, you can show off, too! 😉 And don’t be too impressed about a Ph.D.–that’s mostly just a product of stubbornness!

    • Thanks! My mom is currently my biggest fan but she really didn’t want to raise a kid who was a braggart and too full of herself. And I do feel BIG satisfaction about the quilt!

  3. What a beautiful quilt. It’s one of my ambitions to one day make a patchwork quilt. I’ve loads of nice materials collected. One day…
    Best wishes to you for the year ahead.

  4. I think there is no harm in showing off your beautiful quilt! I mean, that’s what blogs are for, right? To show our thoughts and the things we make? I’m not surprised this took you such a long time, there are so many small pieces! I love the colour scheme, it reminds me of an exotic swimming pool. Have a fantastic 2014 Kerry! xx

  5. Somethings take time 😉 ! And this *thing* was worth waiting for. It’s gorgeous and I love that you have a seawall to place it on. You are not bragging; you are being inspirational….telling us not to give up, ever 🙂

  6. Wow, Kerry, it’s AMAZING! You handquilted it? Hats off to you! And I see it’s Kitty-approved too 🙂
    A little boasting now and then doesn’t hurt!

    • Thank you so much! Yes, it’s hand quilted–once I’ve worked so hard to sew all those little pieces together, I think a quilt deserves to be hand-quilted. Plus, of course, I have never made peace with a sewing machine! 😉 And, yes it’s kitty-approved. The back of it is black fabric and I had to clean up a ton of cat hair . . .

  7. Oh wow this is an absolutely stunning quilt! I can only dream of being able to make one half as good as this as a total newbie. Beautiful colours! x

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  9. Kerry, I love, love, love the quilt. You’re not showing off–you are sharing and thank you for that. We all have projects and passions we have to set aside or put on hold while we go about the business of life. My list of unfinished projects is pretty long. It’s great to see in your quilt and blog that opportunity to go back and bring to conclusion that thing you started in the past. You have a great blog. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the lovely comment! I have a history of letting projects lapse for a looooong time and then finishing them and being very happy and proud. You’d think I would learn! I’m glad you’re here, reading along!

  10. Silly Kerry: No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house or in other words Joy To The World. This is not showing of but sharing the joy of creating something beautiful, the satisfaction of finishing a project, the comfort for others that yes, indeed, in can take 17 years. ( still a miracle with all the things you have been up to) And that lovely, pretty lady beaming on that gorgeous quilt is you?? Thanks for sharing and please keep on tooting that horn as loudly as possible! with a big hug from Johanna

  11. I would hever have had the pleasure of enjoying your excitement and of seeing your beutiful quilt, so I am glad you showed off. I, too, was often exhorted not to do that, but there are some different definitions and I think you did not go too far off the straight and narrow. Just feeling your excitement and sense of accomplishment is a gift to me. Might get me up and going.

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  15. It is downright gorgeous, worthy of showing off. Don’t hide your light under the bushel! (Okay, yeah, I know that’s not really what that phrase is about.) I especially love the outer border where you go off-wave. Fabulous. 🙂

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  18. Your smile in this photo really does say it all! This is the deep happiness which comes from the completion and associated pride which comes from actually finishing something special, like this fabulous quilt. And it really is FABULOUS! The intricate pattern really captures the movement and reflections of water and the colour is just heavenly. And it is finished. I am so happy for you.
    I can’t wait to see what you next……

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