Quilt Finished! In Just Four and a Half Years

Perfectionism doesn’t loom large in my quilting ventures. I leave the painstaking handwork for someone else who has more time and a lot more patience, and take every shortcut I can. Why, then, did it take me nearly five years to finish this king-size duvet cover?  It’s true, I ran into some technical challenges, such as machine-quilting the borders separately from the center of the quilt, only to find that the quilting process had made the borders shrink and become half an inch too short, which caused a whole cascade of technical problems that took me almost a year to decide how to fix.

This duvet cover is a gift for my friends Mary and John.

But that’s not the only reason the quilt reached such a mature age before I finished it. Like many of my projects, the quilt had to go through a process I like to call ripening.

“Ripeness is All”

I’ve found ripening to be a necessary process in many areas of life. Bills have to ripen for a while in the “Bills to Pay” file before they’re ready to have checks written and get dropped in the mail. Clothes in the giveaway pile ripen in a heap on the guest room floor before they get crammed into grocery bags and put in the back of the car, and may need another ripening period in the car before they’re ready to actually go to the Goodwill dropoff. This quilt is ripening right now in a garbage bag in the front hall. When I find the right size box to send it off in, it will probably ripen in the box until I realize it’s almost too late for it to arrive by Christmas, at which point I will rush it to the post office.

Can you guess that this ripening process drives my do-it-now husband and older daughter crazy?

And it’s true that sometimes things get overripe.  I’ll be lucky if the Day of the Dead skull quilt I’m making for Halloween, out of fabric that has been seasoning in my quilting room since last year, gets finished by Christmas. But eventually it all gets done somehow.

Duvet cover detail

The little diamond covers up one of my biggest technical difficulties, a mashup of not-quite-aligned seams caused by the shrinking borders.

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4 thoughts on “Quilt Finished! In Just Four and a Half Years

  1. Nancy

    Wow, this is beautiful! Congratulations on finishing the project, and congratulations on your wonderful new blog!

    I, too, am a “ripener”. Wonder why some people are like us and some are the Instant Action Only types? Another mystery of life.

    Reply
  2. kathy

    The quilt looks great! Who knew it had such technical difficulties? That’s the great thing about a pieced work — lots of ways to accommodate the mismatched borders life is full of.

    I personally call your “ripening” process “percolating.” But it’s the same thing.

    Reply
  3. Mary

    FABULOUS!! I say “ripen” away girlfriend. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. This one is well worth the wait! I have a few boxes here should I send you one? They continue to ripen in my basement since our move… No hurry or anything but I can’t wait to start enjoying this beautiful creation. It’s too pretty to stay hidden in a sack.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the love that went into this.

    Congratulations on getting your new blog up and running. It really speaks to me…

    xo M

    Reply
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