Double Irish Chain Quilt
by, 08-31-2012 at 03:24 PM (1324 Views)
A few months ago, a dear friend, gave me her fabric stash. She is over 70 and is in poor health and just felt that she could no longer do any quilting. I graciously (jumped up and down) accepted 3 18 gallon totes that were overflowing. The contents ranged from small scraps to 10 yards. I still have not gotten them all sorted, ironed and refolded. Washing will have to wait until I have a washing machine once again. LOL. She has not done any quilting for several years, but wanted to hold onto them, hoping she would feel up to doing several more quilts.
Pete (her nickname) asked that in return I make her a lap sized quilt. She said to choose any pattern and any material that I wanted to. After some thought and several days of browsing patterns, I decided to make a Double Irish Chain pattern. I love the way this pattern looks with any fabric. I had no problem choosing the fabric for it, but later wished I had chosen to use a blue instead of the cream. I think it would have really enhanced the printed fabric I chose and created a much more balanced quilt.
I really had no problems with cutting or piecing the top. It went together wonderfully. Well, wonderfully after I experimented with Elmers Washable School Glue to adhere the seams before sewing. The fabrics that I chose, turned out, they were fairly light and wanted to pucker and pleat. Plus, they frayed terribly. But after I tried the glue, it all went together superbly.
Since Pete really enjoys applique, I at first intended to applique something in the center of the cream. But decided to do some of the free motion machine embroidery instead. I chose the pattern, had my hubby size it properly on the computer, printed it out and spent a few days tracing it onto the tear away stabilizer. I actually had drawn out feathers to go on the sides and flowers to go in the corners. But, thankfully, through searching the internet and looking at various other double irish chain quilts, I decided that it would all be to overwhelming and went with only the center piece.
Through all of this process, the world around me was in complete turmoil. My husbands Uncle was placed in the hospital and sent home 4 days later, looking and feeling like it was not going to be long before he entered the Pearly Gates. So, a lot of time was being spent helping him....dealing with emotions (on everyones part) and helping to get his home cleared out. Several bad things occured during this time, I will not go into, that just lead to miserable emotions. But, his Uncle is doing fairly well and looking healthier. As soon as this was all calming down and settling into a balanced daily routine, my mother and brother in Oregon were put into the hospital. My mom with severe pnemonia and a viral infection. My brother with an infection in his arm from a bike accident. I so wanted to fly home and be with them and especially help my dad out. But, could not do that. Thankfully, they were both released and are healing nicely.
Next, I had to have a nerve in my back that leads down my left leg, burnt to hopefully deaden the severe pain that my lower back arthritis and left hip bursitis was causing. This meant that the quilt was not getting much attention during the entire time, especially since sewing caused extra pain. Then after the procedure, it meant another week of not being able to work on it. No lifting or bending were allowed. So, just starting to be able to sew again and what should happen....my dear hubby says, I need to go to the ER. So he is admitted with an infected pancreas. Apparently he has gall stones, one somehow got lodged in the pancreas causing the infection and swelling. Thankfully, it dislodged itself or dissolved and it just took a couple days of IV fluid and antibiotics to solve. But, my oh my, were my nerves shot by the end of all of this.
But, set my mind to getting this quilt finished. I honestly believe, it was pissed off (exuse my language) and wanted revenge for being neglected for all of these periods of time. Because, I encountered nothing but tear out the hair kind of problems from getting the backing fabric to lay nice and flat...oh wait a moment, it is not wide enough either. Then sandwiching it, I can not even go there. It was awful, finally managed to get it all flat and fit properly. Time to quilt it. Believe me, I should have just gone back to the wonderful method of tying a quilt. But, I bit every ounce of hatred back and sewed straight lines....believe me they are no where near being straight. Just bound it as quickly and effortlessly as possible, folded it up and delivered it.
Pete really loved it. We laughed and spent a couple hours visiting and talking about various aspects of life and quilting. So it was worth all of the ***** words and aggrevations. But, for the next few days....I am going to work on a cross stitch project and a hand embroidery project and forget about sewing or quilting. Then, I know I will be ready to begin a new quilt project that will give me pleasure and teach me even more. LOL.
Sorry that I got carried away, but I wanted to share (especially for myself and a later look back and laugh). Here is the finished quilt and a close up of the free motion machine embroidery.