During a recent family visit to Dallas, Texas, I stopped by a local quilt shop with my step-mother, affectionately called, my wicked step mother, and we bought a modern quilt book (see related post http://wp.me/p1JRkn-31). My brother was intrigued and quickly picked not only his future bed quilt, but an accompanying wall ensemble. It was a little much, but he IS my only brother after all! Honestly, I was touched he was interested…
A few weeks later, David (my bro) called with “a great idea…” He says “Our childhood friend is getting married in two months, wouldn’t it be nice if you made that “Birds on a Wire” wall project for him?” Honored by the gesture and thinking it would actually be a sweet and sentimental gift, I said yes! I naively went forward to my first commissioned piece.
First of all, most of you know this, but when you are quilting for something for yourself you feel you can experiment and have “special moments/mistakes” and carry on. Well, when it is for someone else and for their wedding and hopefully, for the rest of their life, it puts a certain pressure about the project.
Ella is always up for a picture...
Those damn birds, I hand turned and stitched them with care. Patience is not my virtue, so I conquered one bird a night. My husband would call out each night-one bird on the wire… two birds on the wire… and so on-so cute! It actually kept me motivated and wiling to put up with the challenges of those beaks!!!
To add to my naivety, I decided to do my first stipple on the wall pieces. Eeeeekkk! I was righteous with my first stitches and didn’t practice anywhere else first. It turned out lovely with one major technicality. Who knew (everyone else apparently), that you should start your stipple in the middle and work outward. I started on the top and went my merry way, naively all over the place and ended up with a huge section of gaping and extra fabric… ugh. I learned that seam ripping stipple is an exercise in patience, let alone skill.
Once finished, I was so proud and made in with a day to spare… the package made it from Hawaii to Portland for the wedding with 24 hours to spare. Eeeek!
I understand the gift was well received and I told my beloved brother he will have to wait for his birds as I need a bird break!