An unexpected and sudden biopsy took me off my bike for a whole five days (too much "upper body," the doctor explained), so I thought perhaps I could make best use of what should have been cycling training time with a little free-motion quilting practice.
Because of the biopsy, I wanted to work on something pink. This project fit the bill perfectly.
All three fabrics, the front, the back and the binding, were part of a stash I bought when my adopted daughter was still pretty young. I was making a lot of her clothes, and she loved cheetahs. She loved all wildlife, and all animals, come to think of it...
She and my adopted son both took unauthorized field trips in 2002. (They ran away). All the kid fabric in my stash went into storage to minimize the Hole in my Heart and to prepare my townhome for sale. It was time to downsize.
I unpacked and used most of that kid stash years later after a fire ripped through a community on the other side of the country, leaving many families homeless. Project Linus needed quilts, especially children's quilts. It was a great way to spring clean, and it was a great use of fabric that had once brought me pain but now could bring comfort to families in need.
Last year, while searching for fabric for the back of Turtle Sherbet, I found the remainder of the kid stash, which included all the cheetah and zebra fabrics I'd bought for my daughter. I found the pink piece with the heart cut from the middle; my daughter must have been 12 or 13 when she cut hearts from many of the fabrics to make a quilted cover for her three-ring binder. Gosh, how the years roll by! She will be 27 this year!
The fabric no longer caused me pain, instead inflicting me with a good dose of laughter as I discovered all the Heart Holes she'd left behind so long ago. Right then, I knew I would use the pink fabric as a quilt top and whatever would fit on the bottom as a quilt back. I knew from that moment I would practice my free-motion quilting to do a heart spiral throughout the length of the quilt. I made the quilt sandwich but did not baste it last June. I set it aside because it was cycling season. I'd come back to it when I got time.
The biopsy provided the necessary time and motivation. My husband helped me baste the layers, and I went to work on the quilt while he tuned his road bike, opting to stay home with me instead of ride without me during my recovery.
I used pink thread that matched the quilt front for the back, and I used purple thread that matched the quilt back for the front. While quilting, I thought of another heart quilting idea I threw in for variety and for additional free-motion practice. I had to rip out a couple of the early hearts because they didn't turn out as well as I thought they should, but I think they got better as I went. The later ones turned out really nice, I think!
I fully intended to use the purple heart cheetah fabric I used for the quilt back for the binding, too, but I'd forgotten I'd since let the pre-teen girls I volunteer with on Tuesday nights use the cheetah fabrics to make clothing for softies I helped them design and sew. Not enough of the purple heart cheetah fabric remained. So I used the leftover purple cheetah jelly roll strips from Skinned. When I proudly displayed the finished quilt to my bike mechanic husband, he loved the binding! Even without the back story!
Best of all, he said I made the whole project look easy. Fat chance! But what an awesome thing to say!
The Obligatory Cactus Quilt Rack Shot
(because people actually search for that!)
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.