All in a days work…(or two or three or sixty…)  One of the best things about “being” a sewing studio is that I am constantly challenged.

A local mom contacted me to see if I could transform this quilt into a blanket.  Her mother-in-law created the quilt, approximately 30″ x 39″ or so, for her little baby.  Her son is now a toddler and she felt he was old enough to have a blanket.

The quilt was her mother-in-law’s first quilting adventure.  She selected wonderful shades of blue and green and hand stitched the squares together.  She also hand-quilted each square.

Unfortunately, the squares were stitched together unevenly and there were some gaping holes, especially at the intersections.

There was also a large beige square in the middle.  We discussed options and my customer took the ideas back to her mother-in-law to engage her in the process.  In the meantime I picked out the border and all the quilting stitches.

I suggested a name applique down the center.

Lesson number one:  It’s hard to be perfect!  Turning around the curves of those letters was hard!  But it’s the imperfections in life that give us character.  (Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…)

I decided not to take the individual squares apart.  We added a wide blue border and backing.  I was going to machine quilt each square but it was too difficult to move the quilt around.  Instead, I discovered this stitch on my Janome which was perfect for the problem at hand.  I could stitch along the squares and secure both sides to add integrity to the seams and intersections.

It was beginning to look like a quilt!

I only quilted the “old” quilt in this manner.  I then used the same stitch and did a diagonal quilting pattern.  My @twitter friends were guiding me along the way and I had some wonderful suggestions of patterns to try, but didn’t feel I could tackle those without some further practice.

Lesson number two:  If you see imperfection, step back a bit and then you will see only beauty.

Oh my diagonal lines were not too perfect….but I did step back and just loved the look of the quilt.

Lesson number three:  The rhythm of quilting is soothing.  Just like knitting, the drum of the machine, the repetitive motions are therapy for the mind.

The original quilt was not square.  My customer wanted me to leave it intact and to square off the outside.  So I squared the entire quilt based on the lower right side of the inside quilt.

I made a binding out of all the patchwork pieces, sewed it on and hand-stitched it to the back.  Thanks again, to my @twitter friends – you #quilters are the best!

Even the back side of the quilt is pretty to look at.  I think I’m hooked!

Yes, there is crookedness and imperfections in the original and in my version.  But I like to think of this as a labor of love – labor of many hands to create a unique heirloom for a child.

And I like to think of this little boy snuggling up in his special quilt with his name on it.  Mom was thrilled with the end result!