Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Bargain is Struck

As you may know (or maybe not) I am not just a knitter. I was a Quilter first. Or more specifically, I am a Topper. I like to make the quilt tops, but I'm not into hand quilting and haven't really gotten into machine quilting yet. So, since I can't always afford to pay to get my quilt tops quilted, I have a box of tops lounging in my sewing room. I finish a top and in the box it goes. I need to add, that I do get tired of people judging me for not finishing my tops. If they want to pay for me to get them quilted, I'm more than happy to take their money, but if not they need to just shut up about it. They will get done when they get done. I know another 'Topper' who says that her tops take up less space in her tiny house. Some one else once said that they were making future yard sale finds, which I thought was hysterical. I will now climb off my soap box and continue with my original story line.

Last month, I finished my Temple Guardians quilt top and I really would like to get it quilted, so that I can hang it in a couple of quilt shows this year. I mean I spent almost 3 years appliqueing the blocks, I am ready for this thing to be done and on my bed! I spoke with one of my local Machine Quilters at a retreat in January. I mentioned wanting to get it quilted, but money being a bit tight, I wasn't sure when it would actually get quilted. She said that she liked the fabrics that I pick out for my quilts and that maybe I should mine my box of tops and we do a trade. At first, I wasn't too sure about this because I really liked the quilt tops that I've made, but the more I thought about, I kind of liked the idea. They are just lounging there anyway right.

I called her yesterday to set up a date to bring the quilt in to get it quilted. Turns out she only had yesterday available. She will be leaving this weekend for another quilt show or training class. She teaches machine quilting classes around the country. She's even taught in England. I digress. Anyway, I raced home last night to get ready. Luckily I had batting and backing for another quilt set aside that I could use. (Color me boring, but I just like to use plain white on the backs of my quilts.)

While I was rushing around, I came across my Mexican Tiles quilt top that I finished last year. I had originally made it with my friends daughter in mind, but since she already had a quilt, I decided to keep it and use it for my 'retreat' quilt. I don't have any twin beds at home, hence I don't usually make that size. It's bright, cheerful and it makes me smile when I look at it. I had more backing, but not another batting. I thought "what the hell" let's throw that one in too and see how much it is to quilt that one.

So, I pulled out my box of tops and started riffling through it. Let me tell you, it wasn't looking too promising. Each one I pulled out, I would say, "oh no, can't part with that one." Finally, I found some that I wasn't too attached to. While they were pretty, I really couldn't seem myself getting them quilted anytime soon. I guess I should be totally honest and admit there was one that I really didn't like. Sorry no picture as it was finished prior to my blog. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty quilt, but it did not turn out how I pictured it. I used a pattern called Strait of Georgia from the book More Fat Quarter Quilts by M'liss Rae Hawley. I loved the one in the book and modeled mine after it. I picked a smashing purple oriental print for the border and then all the blocks were made from the 'supporting' colors. I used different creams/light tans for the background fabric. I think that was my mistake. It turned out too 'brown.' Brown and BLAH!! As you may have guessed from viewing other quilt tops on my blog, I like bright vibrant colors.

Since I wanted to take a variety of tops to my friend, I added that one to the pile. I ended up trading that one, a small wall hanging made from a Moda Charm pack (in really bright colors!), a pastel Yellow Brick Road baby Quilt, and a Island Star Baby Quilt to her. And the best part, I get BOTH of my quilts quilted. You know, I'm happy with the trade that I made.

I just can't wait to get them back!!! Do you think it's too soon to ask her if she's done yet?? :o)

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