Yeah, you read that correctly. This is the first quilt I ever started. Eleven years ago. ELEVEN. That’s more years than Alexis has been alive. It’s mind boggling.

So anyway, I got my first sewing machine for Christmas in 1999. That was a really big year. First real job out of college, getting married, buying a first house, and then the sewing machine. I mean, a really great year… but I digress… again.

Honestly, I was really embarrassed when I opened that box and saw the machine. I guess I thought everyone (my family for pete’s sake!) would think I was a great big wanna-be. Which I was. Of course, no one even thought twice about it. I was really excited to get the thing home… A White ‘Jeans Machine’. Not a really high quality machine, but heck… Chris didn’t even know if I would actually use it… Boy did he not have anything to worry about.

I started sewing with a few tiny projects. I think the first thing I ever “made” was a tiny little pincushion using one of these fabrics, but true to my style it wasn’t long before I decided to take on a (much) larger project. This quilt is queen sized! I was trying to knock off a pottery barn quilt, but I’d say I didn’t really succeed this time. Obviously I wasn’t great at putting fabrics together back then and I didn’t have a stash at all. So what’s a girl to do on a whim? Just start cutting apparently.

So it’s not gorgeous. Hell, it’s not even pretty. Pretty ugly maybe.

I started quilting it in straight lines along either side of the seams. I had no idea what I was doing, so I would lay the quilt on the floor and cut these enormous lengths of thread and start stitching from the center out in big fat stitches (I knew enough to start in the center at least!)

Even back then I wasn’t really that fond of this thing… so it would get put away for weeks or months on end because it just seemed like too much trouble to finish. At some point in the last six years it surfaced again… Probably when I redid my sewing room the last time. That’s when I decided I would never finish this thing if I had to continue with that awful quilting. So I started picking. And picking. And picking those stitches out. I’m still not done with the picking… but I started with the quilting again… this time with a much neater, tinier stitch, and in freehand stars that you can see below. (please ignore the orange chalk lines!) It is more interesting, but still a bit overwhelming.

Remember when I said it was queen sized? Well, it was… but it had this awful white border that just looked cheap to me. So I cut it off before I started picking stitches out… Now the quilt is probably the perfect size for a picnic quilt… not that I ever go on picnics.

She lives on the back of my sewing chair in the loft. Every so often I pick her up and add a few more stars… At one point last spring when I was nesting, I probably got another 1/4 quilted. I was so determined to finish all my UFOs before the baby arrived… ha ha.

Ugly as it is, I think I’ll finish it… some day. I’ll probably even love it when it’s done… but only because I’ll know just how much time and effort has been put into it. How many places it’s traveled with me. And how many things we’ve been through together. Yeah… there I go getting all mushy again.

So… does anyone else out there have an ancient UFO that you just can’t seem to part with? Please share!

Yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday was my 100th blog post (for this blog anyway). But since it was, well… wordless I didn’t mention it. For post 101 I’ll share a few things I have learned about blogging since my first post.

1. Posting anything controversial will get a eleventy billion hits and comments… and most of them aren’t nice. But it will also get your blog the #1 spot on google for those search terms.

2. Creating a tutorial that seems to be missing from the intertubes also earns eleventy billion hits and a #1 spot. Even if the pictures do suck.

3. Posting any pictures of your kids will results in pervy search terms leading to your blog.

4. Putting google ads on your blog will make you a jillionaire… in about 40 million years.

5. Eye candy + sarcasm = a winning combo.

6. Almost any topic you can think of can lead to side stories about your childhood.

7. Ranting blog posts are therapeutic, but you better know your audience… and hope your boss doesn’t read your blog.

8. Ironically, writing about failure to write has resulted in some really long posts.

9. Re-reading old posts can make you cringe, but it might also make you smile.

I can’t believe it’s already been guessed! Jennifer guessed a bird… and while that’s not as specific as I had hoped, I really don’t feel like it would be fair to continue…

So here’s what the next clue would have been:

And this is the completed top all pin-basted and ready for quilting. I wish I had a better picture of it before I basted (and started quilting if anyone is keeping score), but I just couldn’t capture the colors.

I ended up taking this one out on the lawn this evening to get enough natural light to show the colors off. The whole time it was threatening to rain on me, so the light wasn’t the greatest, but good enough.

I know some of you will recognize this particular firebird. He’s (She’s???) missing her crest for now, but I’ll embroider that on after the other quilting is done. You can barely see where I’ve started the quilting above the bird. I’m planning on a sort of rays/sunburst pattern all around the bird, but I’m not sure how to quilt the bird himself.

I hope you like it as much as I do. And Jennifer, I hope you like your little sachets… Alexis was inspired by them and so she made this little sachet herself (Her first time sewing on the machine!)

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