I bought my first house in September 2000. It was a major fixer upper, built in 1917, I was the third owner, nothing had been updated beyond the late 1950s and most of the kitchen and bath fixtures were the 1917 originals. It needed work. Lots of work. The afternoon I closed on it, I went directly to the house in work clothes to start ripping up the hideous (stained from renters) rose colored carpeting, circa 1958. I worked every weekend and every night after work for one month to get the house to “moving in” condition. I continued to make repairs, improvements and updates on it the four years I owned it. I loved that house, I still do, but it went to good new owners who loved it for many of the same reasons I did. What does all this have to do with an unfinished quilt, you ask?
Well, somewhere around that same time…I bought the pattern and fabric to make a Split Squares quilt for the twin size daybed in my new guest room. I even painted the walls cute to match this quilt. Where is the quilt? In pieces, in a tin breadbox, under my sewing table, in my studio. It was my first actually pieced quilt (I had done a wholecloth, hand-quilted quilt from a vintage coverlet my grandma gave me, and some applique quilt hangings), and I never finished it. Here it is:
CURRENT STATE: There are eight completed blocks (out of 35 needed), everything else is cut, all the fourths of the blocks have been sewn and cut, they just need to be pieced. Even the little square-in-a-square border pieces are cut and neatly stacked in the tin. The original cardboard templates are in there, too.
REASON FOR NOT FINISHING IT: Life, I guess. I was spending so much time renovating, I didn’t have time to sew, I suppose. And remember, I do have a problem with out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Seriously, this is a simple pattern. You sew wonky squares on squares with raw-edge zig-zag applique, cut them into four pieces, mix-and-match and sew them into a crazy four patch. Most people could whip this out in a weekend, or a week at most. Me? It takes nearly a decade, apparently.
PLAN FOR FINISHING IT: I’m not sure I even like it that much anymore. My tastes have changed considerably in the past eight years. This is from a time before I discovered Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross, and batiks! It has a very muted, reproduction look to the fabric. But, I’ll finish it, and use it as a donation or gift quilt. Someone will love these colors and patterns. And, really, if I never complete my FIRST quilt, can I call myself a “quilter”?