My firstborn son recieved a hand quilted quilt for his first birthday. I choice fabric that had characters from Old Testament stories and lovingly quilted it together by hand. I have a very clear memory of my little baby in his "Johnny-Jump-Up" smiling and bouncing away as I sat in the hallway on the floor quilting away. This kid became attached to his quilt and it was his companion for the next 9 years. On our moving trip to Oregon, two out of three of my boys had a throw-up party the second night of our trip. I spent part of the night cleaning up and going to the laundry mat at the hotel to wash soiled things. I think this was the demise of his quilt. It was never to be seen again. I think it was left behind.
Years later I saw a woman holding a piece of fabric outside a JoAnn's store that looked like the fabric I used in the quilt. I approached her and asked if I could see the salvage so I could figure out who made the fabric. After searching the internet, and it wasn't just one search but many and throughout years, I was able to find the exact same fabric and I bought it with hopes to recreate the quilt. The fabric has been stashed away until recently.
When this little boy was nearing his 14th birthday I decided to make him another quilt. This time I recreated his guitar on the front and backed it with flannel fabric that had guitars on it. He used that quilt for many years until it was tattered and torn and then his dog decided to eat it. That is when I got the call and it sounded to me that he would like to have another quilt in the future.
I started to collect music themed fabric and then he let me know that a music themed quilt would be cheesy. He wanted it to be colorful because the apartment he lived in was dull. I then collect bright colored fabric. On his 23rd birthday, I pulled out my fabric collection and asked him what he liked. To my surprise, he chose the pink and purple fabric. I told him that I wasn't going to buy all new fabric and that I would use a combination of what I had.
I sewed it up before Christmas and had plans to get it quilted before Christmas so that I could give it to him as a gift. A friend of mine has a long-arm quilting machine and she offered for me to use it so I took her up on it. I thought I would just go over to her house and in one short day have it done. It didn't work out that way. Her machine was acting up and she needed to have it looked at by the repair guy. She got sick on another day we planned for me to come over. The quilt wasn't fitting just right the day I did go over and then the day I went back there was an issue with the tension and I had to quit quilting. Well, today was the day! I went over and had a jolly good time quilting and finished my first long-arm quilted quilt!!!!
The lesson for the day: Don't give up. When you want something push past the obstacles and persevere. The finished product is worth it.....even when it pertains to raising a difficult child. The kid who is getting this quilt was a challenge and the quilt is now named The Troublemaker. They are both worth all the effort I have put into them!