In the spring, Molly and I hatched a plan to work on a quilt together. She chose the pattern from a book called Liberty Love, which features projects sewn entirely from Liberty of London fabrics — lots of colorful and petite floral prints that Molly adored. We ventured to JoAnn Fabrics, where we scoured the aisles of quilting cottons for similarly scaled designs, deliberating for at least an hour over the 22 fabric selections we needed to make for this project. I felt in over my head and was adamant that I would not be doing all the required cutting and sewing myself. I had an able-bodied 12-year-old with a tiny bit of sewing experience who could certainly wield scissors adeptly. Surely, the quilt would be finished by her 13th birthday in the summer.
Molly did do some cutting over the next few months. She was especially good, though, at providing company for me when I asked from time to time, “Do you want to work on your quilt?,” preferring to sit nearby and watch me do the work — ha! She would match a piece of white dotted swiss fabric with an accompanying printed piece, hand them to me to sew, and quickly ready another set.
When I f…i…n…a…l…l…y finished sewing all the blocks together (eight months after we started this endeavor), Molly directed the layout of all the pieces.
This quilt was truly a labor of love, for only love would inspire me to ever take on such a huge sewing project. Unlike with knitting, I do not take much pleasure in the process of sewing, as the thinking behind it is a sort of inverse logic that is difficult for me, and it requires using a machine. It’s tactile, yes, but not in the slow way of most handwork. Sometimes a machine just goes too fast for me, and — oops! — I’ve accidentally sewn the corner of the blanket to the middle, sewn a crease into what’s supposed to be an open spread, created a wavy line in lieu of a straight one, and — shoot! — I’ve just drawn blood from my finger! But, holy smokes, I’ve just finished a quilt for my daughter’s twin-size bed, and I hope she holds it dear all the rest of her life!