So I pulled out the jeans, bought some fleece to go with them and started cutting. Half way into the project I wondered what the heck I was thinking. Turns out a lot of my old jeans were too skinny to really be usable for this project and I started to wonder if I would have enough denim squares for 3 quilts. But I pushed through and managed to cut every pair of jeans into squares--even if they were too small to be used for this particular project. In the end I did not have enough squares for 3 quilts, so I raided some of my skinny jeans out of the closet (you know, the ones I am sure will fit very soon even though I haven't worn them in years), and cut them up. I was still a little short--but fixed that by deciding the fleece my youngest daughter choose would go better with black/darker denim. So after running to the fabric store and buying denim for her quilt (which was much easier to cut into squares than those stupid jeans were!), I finally had enough fabric and could begin to assemble the quilts.
Now at this point in the story I need to let you in on one of my minor character flaws. Ok, so it's kind of a major one--I am often a very poor manager of time. Does that sound better than admitting I'm a procrastinator? Either way, I tend to wait too long to start a project and am easily distracted by other things so that I often fall even farther behind schedule. With that piece of knowledge, it should not surprise you to find out that with getting ready for Christmas, which this year included a road trip to Utah, I didn't get all three quilts finished in time for to be under the tree Christmas morning. Well, to be honest none of them were finished on Christmas day. In fact, I was snipping seams on the way home from our Christmas vacation and didn't hand finished quilts to any of the girls until after New Years. And then, only 2 of the girls received a quilt. My youngest's quilt was still sitting in squares waiting to be sewn together. Luckily she is the baby and not the middle child or I am sure this would cause some major emotional issues about always being the one forgotten or cheated out of things. (Can you tell I'm a middle child?)
Anyway, my baby's quilt sat in pieces forgotten in my room. Until this month, when I decided it would be nice if I finished it for her birthday. I have been thinking about this for a while, and even pulled it out about a week ago and sewed the pieces of felt to pieces of denim--like this:
I hadn't realized it, but this was the first part of my colossal brain lapse. You see, I was sewing 2 squares together, when I should have been sewing 4. But as I said, I didn't realize I had made a mistake. So yesterday, I pulled out my machine and the fabric squares and began to assemble them into rows. Now almost immediately I had one of those warning bells go off in my head. As I put together the rows I discovered I had twice as many squares as I needed for the quilt. Instead of questioning what I was doing wrong because there would be no way I could have made such a huge mistake in my prep work, I had the following thoughts go through my mind: "Oh my heck! I am such an idiot. How in the world could I have cut too many squares? I even went back to the fabric store to buy more fleece because I originally didn't have enough for all the squares I needed. I am so retarded!" I know, I know--in hindsight I should have been wondering what I was currently doing wrong--not wondering how I originally screwed up. But I didn't. I just laughed at myself as I made really good time sewing rows together for the quilt and made plans to eventually make another quilt out of the extra squares. (I know, I know--quit laughing!)
Then it happened. After I had sewn together 1/3 of the quilt, it struck me that it felt really thin compared to the other two I had made. I looked it over, and couldn't put my finger on what wasn't quite right. This is what it looked like at the time:
As the feelings of dread began to rise up inside me, I went upstairs and got daughter #2's quilt off of her bed. As soon as I picked it up I realized my mistake. This is what the completed quilt should look like:
The fact that I patchworked this current quilt wasn't the problem, as this just changes the way it looks. The problem is that instead of having something that was 2 layers, my quilt was only one layer. Which meant I had simply sewn together a quilt top. And since this is a rag quilt, the seams from the back of the quilt are sewn together with the seams from the front--so that you end up with one smooth side and one side with seams you rag. Obviously this was a very big problem since there was absolutely no way for me to complete the quilt properly without unpicking all the rows and pretty much starting over. As I held the correctly finished quilt in my hand, the following thoughts went through my head: "Oh my heck! I am such an idiot. How in the world could I have sewn this together wrong. I am so retarded!"
And with that I turned off my machine for the night, I found my seam ripper and started pulling apart all the work I had done. And at the same time began to doubt that my baby would get her quilt for her birthday on Friday. Good thing she has the greatest mom ever--or she might be a lot more disappointed with my flaws!