There has been quite a following on Facebook on this story of Sam’s Quilt. Time for an introduction and then a follow-up:
Sam is my great-nephew. I went to visit several family members in Minnesota back in June of this year. It was an awesome visit, but Sam especially captured my heart. Sam is 5 (now 6?). Upon being re-introduced to him by his Mom (my niece, Michelle), who told him that “this is the aunt that made Thomas’s (his little brother) baby quilt” ~ Sam immediately piped up and said “YOU made that quilt?!!” When I said that I had, he immediately asked if I would make him a quilt… and quickly followed it up with his choice of color preferences: “green with blue flowers!”, he’d said without hesitation. He knew what he wanted right away!
Before I even came home from vacation, I began looking online for just the right fabric… “green with blue flowers”. It actually took me 3-4 days to find just this right combination without being too feminine. Then I picked out “accompanying” fabrics that would add to the “main” fabric.
A few days after getting home, I began the planning of this quilt for Sam. I was determined that it would be spectacular. After all, I’d never had someone actually ASK me to make them a quilt, and I was quite flattered.
The entire project was going to be delayed, over and over, as I had health issues from beginning in May and continued right through the entire summer. That really slowed me down. There were days and weeks that I just couldn’t even sew. There were a couple of trips to the hospital, one included a few days’ stay.
As I s-l-o-w-l-y recovered over several weeks, I did continue to work on Sam’s quilt as much as I could. And it came along nicely.
With the help of my husband, the quilt got sandwiched, quilted, bound and complete. I had decided to use a stencil (for the first time) to aid in the quilting part, it was a stencil of 8 hearts, upside down and made to look like a pretty flower. So I set about penciling in the design from the stencil on each of the squares on the sandwiched quilt. It took a couple of days just to accomplish this part, as I was still recovering.
The process was: decide on colors/patterns, buy the appropriate fabric, cut the fabric pieces for the top and sew them together, then “sandwich” the top, batting and backing and stencil the quilting design on the top. Next you quilt the sandwich, following the design you had just stenciled. Next you trim and bind the edges, and finally wash the quilt to get out the stenciling marks. THAT’S where the problem came in. The stenciling marks, which were BLACK, would not wash out! Needless to say, I was pretty distraught, and I went to my Facebook friends group “Quilt Along With Pat Sloan“, who I knew would have the answer/remedy I needed to get those awful marks out. I posted a plea for help on getting these marks out this quilt, and as expected, I was thankfully inundated with dozens of replies and suggestions on what to do and what to use. I tried MANY of them. I spent an entire Saturday cleaning, scrubbing, soaking, washing, spraying ~ washing about 5-6 times in the course of the day, but nothing worked. Exhausted by the end of the day, I had decided there was nothing to be done but make another quilt for Sam. There was NO WAY I was going to give him such a mess with marks all over it! Indeed, that quilt was not going to be leaving this house!
So, I guess it’s been a couple of weeks now since I have reordered the fabrics online, and purchased others at Hobby Lobby, and I have been working very hard to recreate Sam’s quilt. I’m hoping to have it done and mailed to him by Halloween. Fortunately, my health is coming along well now, and I’m able to spend hours at a time at the sewing machine piecing, bordering, ironing etc. Indeed, I’ve just finished piecing the top together this morning. I should mention that I did not use the same pattern this time as the first time. I wanted to try something different, something that would show off the quilting parts better. I think I have achieved that.
Sam’s quilt top – second try. Top complete! Finished size 5′ x 6′
Heart quilt design stencil
Now, with the quilt top done, I need to choose some backing material and the batting. Usually I would use up scraps from the making of the top to make the backing, but this time I’m out! I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in my fabric stash to match so I guess a-shopping I will go!
That’s about where things stand right now. I’ll continue to update as it nears completion and is then sent to Sam. Maybe I’ll luck out and I’ll get a photo of Sam as he enjoys his gift!
Thanks for stopping by and checking in. Hope you enjoyed by post.
Blessings ~ Tamara Eckstadt