Quilting Therapy aka Happy Mother’s Day

jelly roll quilt

You know how they say that sewing is like therapy? Well, this quilt was quite a challenge for me, emotionally. I started it together with its twin in December 2014. Back then, I was in a long-term relationship and I used my partner’s old shirts with the plan to make one quilt for us and one for his mom.

I finished the quilt for us in January. Within weeks, my relationship fell apart and I moved out. Things moved incredibly quickly. Too quick for my emotions to catch up. I was just functioning, doing what my brain told me to do. I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do, to move out and start over, but it’s not easy to do that after 13 years of friendship and 5 years of relationship.

So I moved out, but still had the second quilt to finish. I did not sew for over a month. It was painful for me to handle the quilt that was made out of his shirts. Painful to see the fabric. Painful to think about things went down.

But Mother’s Day drew closer and it was really important for me to finish this gift. So I just got working on it. This is only my third free motion quilting quilt so I still have a lot to learn. But I decided to be a little bolder and go from stippling to doing some swirls.

detail jelly roll quilt fmq
detail jelly roll quilt fmq
detail jelly roll quilt with fmq
detail jelly roll quilt with fmq

For the dark blue squares that I added to break up the strips, I added a flower design. Totally free styled that so it’s far from perfect. And next time, I might go with a thread that blends in a bit more instead of using gray.

For the border, I switched to blue thread. It’s actually serger thread that I used and I noticed my machine (Singer Simple) works much better with that. I’ll have to do some more research whether it’s a good idea to FMQ with serger thread. The border design is half circles (again, freestyle so some look better than others). I like the look of it and will practice some more so I can use that design as base for more FMQ.

border design jelly roll quilt
border design jelly roll quilt

For the binding, I am still learning. But every time I get better and I absolutely credit the Missouri Star Quilt Company for that. Their tutorial on machine binding is what I use and it’s borderline genius. I noticed the binding works better for me with 2 1/4in strips but I also work with relatively thin quilts. You may need that extra quarter inch for thicker quilts.

quilt binding detail
quilt binding detail

I finished the quilt last night and hung it up this morning for pictures and to clip any leftover threads I missed.

jelly roll quilt
jelly roll quilt
quilt back
quilt back

It was a feeling of accomplishment seeing the quilt hang. I like it a lot. But as I was sipping my coffee, I noticed that my feelings towards the quilt have changed. I’m not attached to the fabric because I realized that the guy I got it from was not who I thought he was. His mom will love the quilt and that’s great. But for me, somewhere along the way, the emotional attachment to it’s history turned into a “so what”.

So this is where I’m at right now. A finished quilt that will be delivered sometime next week. It might be the last time I see the woman I made it for. Life will tell.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and grandmas out there,

Franzi

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