It's Never Too Late...to Finish a Quilt!
Sweet Shabby Dreams is my newest quilt pattern, but it was 13 years in the making and finishing. Actually, the quilt top was finished in 1997 and had 63 blocks in it to make an oversized queen-size quilt. I made most of the blocks but many were made by my co-workers in a block round robin group quilting effort. I started to hand quilt it with diagonal lines across all blocks in both directions and I had also hand-quilted-in-the-ditch around each block. I was ready to tackle the borders, but since I was moving to Massachusetts, the quilt went into a box for the move, and then into a box under the bed, never to see daylight again until this past summer. (In the meantime, I moved back to the West Coast.) When I took the quilt out of the box, I knew I would never finish it by hand and it really needed more quilting in the blocks and sashing, as well as in the wider outer border. Instead of banning it to the box again, I took the quilt top to my long-arm quilter, Debi Breese of Heart in Hand Quilting in Portland, OR. She thought she would be able to add machine quilting to it, but alas, that didn't work, so home it came again--but it didn't go back under the bed!
Since I had already written the pattern directions for the quilt--including yardage and assembly directions for several sizes--I decided to take on the task of "unquilting" it and disassembling it to make a smaller quilt. It was just too darn big and I knew I wouldn't use it if left that size. Yes, I took out every tiny little hand stitch and unpicked lots of seams. The finished quilt top with only 25 blocks proved much more manageable and makes a cozy lap-size quilt. (I just took a lovely nap under it earlier today.) I took the new, smaller quilt top back to Debi and she chose an overall floral pattern that floats across the center and the multiple inner borders. She added a coordinating floral pattern for the outermost border. I'm happy with the results and glad to have one more thing off my "round-to-it" list.
The pattern is now available for download purchase at www.craftsy.com, where you will find all of my other patterns for quilts, place settings, table runners, tote bags, and even a child's apron. Directions for a Baby, Lap, Twin, and Queen size quilt are included in the pattern. To view all of my patterns at Craftsy, simply double click on the photo of Sweet Shabby Dreams. It's that easy!
If you haven't visited Craftsy, be sure you do. They offer lots of patterns and great on-line classes. I've signed up for several. It's so easy to watch the lessons at your leisure and then go practice at the machine. And you can take the classes at your leisure--forever. Once you've paid for it, it's available to you whenever you want to access it. They offer classes and patterns in other crafts, including paper crafts, knitting, and crocheting, too. It's a great resource! I found a great sweater pattern on Craftsy to knit while I was on a month-long boat trip with my sweetie.
And what about all those leftover blocks? Don't know yet, but some might show up in a shabby little tote bag--or baby quilts--I still have 34 of them!
Keep on stitching and smiling,