I put it away for a while and got busy with other things. Actually that's an understatement. You know how it is.
When we moved from St. Louis to Huntsville, Alabama almost 5 years ago and I unpacked my stash, I came across the fabric and realized I hadn't made Esther's quilt yet, so it went on the "To Do" list. Each year after that it got carried over to the next year's list and last year it made it to the top. I was so excited to be making this quilt, and I knew that, at this point, it would be a real surprise. I got it all cut out.
I even got some blocks made.
Then the funniest thing happened. I broke my arm. But "by little and by little" last year I worked on it.
When I got to the point where it needed to be basted, I decided that a special quilt needed a special batt. When bamboo battings first came out I bought one just to be supportive of my local quilt shop, but because it was so pricey and kind of different, I kept putting it back to use for something special. I decided the time had come. What could be more special than this!?!
Basting was next.
For some reason when it came time to quilt it, I got all the purple background quilted first, using a royal blue thread so it would be easier to work with, and left the stars for last. Big mistake.
I started quilting the stars four or five different times and didn't like what I was doing, so I kept ending up ripping it out. I finally decided to try something I had never done before but had seen in magazines and really liked -- big stitch quilting with Pearl cotton.
The closer I came to being finished the more excited I got. I was really regretting having waited so long to make this quilt.
The label for this quilt needed to be personal, so I hand-embroidered it using a snowman because that's one of Esther's favorite things, and I thought long and hard about what to name it.
I mailed the quilt to my dear friend Gloria (you met Gloria in this post) and asked her to deliver it for me. She enjoyed being in on the surprise and sent me this picture.
Even though I regret waiting as long as I did to finish this project, Esther assures me the timing was perfect, and she is very happy with it. I just hope she knows how much love went into it.