I started this quilt in 1995 when I took a class at the annual Utah State Quilt Guild meetings. The class was taught by Cathy Kempton. I was busy in school and had to put it aside for awhile.
I finished the quilt top in 1997 while I was still in high school. I was a member of FHA HERO (Future Homemakers of America and Home Economics Related Occupations--a club at school) and my teacher wanted me to finish it and enter it in the state fair the next fall. Obviously that didn't happen, but I did try to quilt it over the summer.
The original pattern had hearts appliqued in the open areas. I wasn't interested in the applique, so I decided to do fancy quilting instead. I love the look of the hand quilting on this quilt, but it took years. Each feathered wreath took over four hours to quilt. I jokingly told my husband that it would be my eternal project.
I finally decided after cheetah was born that I would make myself work on it a little each day or it would remain an eternal project. He really was a good baby and was happy to play on the floor near me. With my sweet cheetah by my side, I finally finished quilting it.
The backing is a pink fabric which came 110 inches wide. It was really nice not to have any seams on the back of a hand quilted quilt.
My husband was so proud of me and said that someday our daughters would fight over that quilt. I made matching pillow cases and put it on my bed. I love this quilt and it represents hours upon hours of work. I think there are over 200 hours of hand quilting that went into it.
Incidentally, I hung it on the quilt rack of my stair well for a few years. Even though it was not in direct sunlight, it has still faded. Though this saddens me, I am glad that I hung it there. I would get warm fuzzies every time I went down the stairs. I tell myself that it's better to get enjoyment from it than to keep it in the dark closet.
There is not much cuter than a monkey on a quilt saying, "Cheese" with squinty eyes.
Quilt Stats: #9
Name: Double Irish Chain
Size: about 92 x 104 inches
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Date finished: 2002
What I learned:
- Hand quilting feathered wreaths takes hours!
- The Hobbs 80% cotton and 20% polyester batting is nice to hand quilt.
- If you work at something a little every day it will finally be finished.