After over three years, my son’s long wait is over – I finished his Oceans quilt.
There are many hours of happy sewing on this quilt. I really loved the process of putting the many blocks together. Paper piecing became a favorite activity. I’m in awe of Janeen Van Niekerk and Linda Hibbert’s abilities to design the block patterns. The jigsaw puzzle aspect of getting the blocks to fit together was fun.
But I am so, so sick of this quilt. I can barely look at it, folded up on the sewing pile. I don’t want to see blue batik fabric again for a very, very long time, to the point that I may cover bury it under some yellow and orange yardage.
It isn’t like I didn’t sew a lot of other things in between Ocean bouts. That’s why it took three years! But for the last few months, even when I was working some other project, I couldn’t escape it. Either a nagging little voice in my head said I needed to get back to it, or a large nagging voice standing next to me in the form of my younger son declared that I obviously didn’t love him since I hadn’t finished his quilt. (He is good with the guilt, that boy!) Pulling fabric for other quilts, surfing quilts on Pinterest and blogs, working on little sewing projects or knitting lace – I felt like I was neglecting a duty the whole time.
But now it is done! I’m free again!
If I ignore all the other unfinished WIPs . . .
But at least they don’t have a representative family member to harangue me about them.
And, it turned out just as I pictured it in my head, and more importantly, how my son pictured it in his head.
We chose fabrics that lightened from bottom to top, like the ocean does from deep to shore. I quilted it in two ways – individual outlining and details for the creatures, and wavy water lines to suggest waves for the background. I changed thread colors (when I remembered) from deep navy to a lighter blue as I progressed up as well.
Even a potential disaster turned into a plus. When I washed and dried it to bring out the crinkles, I forgot to put a color catcher sheet in, and the dark red fabric pieces bled just a little. It didn’t really show in most areas unless you look really closely, but around the mouth of the shark, the white jaw got a little bit of a red stain. My son and I agreed that it made it look even more vicious, the little suggestion of bloody teeth. He’d actually asked me once to embroider on some blood, so he was really happy about it.
This quilt is going to get used a lot. It may not survive all the washings for very long, and I know for a fact that a dog is likely to sleep on it while its boy sleeps under it. But however long or short its life, this quilt is going to be well used and well loved, which is the point of it all, right?