Have you ever had a quilt that seemed like it needed to be made. right. NOW?!? This quilt definitely falls into that category. It clearly is not my typical style, but I am oh so glad I had the ball rolling on this one because the timing ended up working out perfectly. In fact, I was in such a rush to get the quilt done, photos taken, and then the quilt washed so that I could gift it *just in time*, that my photos are not that crisp and definitely not artistically taken.
My good friend lost her job at the end of October. I have been a member of a gym in my town for about 7 years, and we got less than a week’s notice that it was closing. She is a fitness instructor and personal trainer, and in the span of a few days she was unemployed. What was worse about that situation is that she has been traveling to doctors and hospitals with her husband a lot recently as they have been quite concerned about his health. So the day the general news became public knowledge, she was out of town and I felt like she needed to hear it from me instead of finding out when she went to work the next day.
We transferred to a new gym, and she has continued to work out with me and a small group of friends. I cannot afford to pay her appropriately as a personal trainer, and it really is out of habit that she continues to “teach” her normal routine of classes and exercise with the group of us. I decided to order some fabric for her favorite sports team, the Seattle Seahawks, and make a whole cloth lap quilt for her. The fabric arrived while I was away at the Quilt Bliss retreat, and my plan was to have the quilt made and gifted to her in time for her Thanksgiving trip to Seattle, where she plans to see a Seahawks game in person and meet her newest granddaughter.
On Tuesday morning, my friend and her husband learned that he has lung cancer (probably related to asbestos from his time in the military and early in his construction career). I had the quilt loaded on my long arm, and suddenly time seemed of the essence. I hustled to get the quilt complete to gift to her on Wednesday before they drove down to the VA in Los Angeles for yet another round of testing so that they can get the all clear to travel over Thanksgiving.
As you can see in the photo above, the fleece was a bit tricky to work with on my long arm. The fleece was supposed to be 60-inches wide, and when I pinned it to my longarm, it was about 58-inches across where I pinned it. When loaded with the top, the sides of the fleece scooped in, and while I did my best to keep the sides as straight as possible, you can see the curve along the edges. It caused a bit of warp when the binding went on, but fortunately everything seemed to work out pretty well after the first wash.
I did choose to use batting in the quilt even with a fleece backing. I used a lightweight cotton batting that I inherited with my long arm when I purchased it last year, but I do not know the origins of that batting. The fabric on the top of the quilt is slightly heavier weight than a typical quilting cotton and is about 56-inches wide.
I used 2 yards of the fleece and 2.5 yards of the cotton (to have enough for binding). I did a very fast horizontal quilting using 50wt Aurifil 2021. I though the lines worked well to be reminiscent of the yard lines on a football field, and it helped the quilt come together quickly enough for me to gift it in time. The quilt finished somewhere in the neighborhood of 56-inches wide by 66-inches long.
“I don’t know what to say! Thank you so much I love it! You made me cry! You are a good friend thank you for being in my life!”
And that right there is why I quilt. It might not be the most beautiful quilt in the world, but it came together just when it was needed, and I know my love, care, and friendship will be felt every time she pulls it out to use.