The time to baste and layer is upon you. This is a necessary, but back and/or knee breaking, part of the process. Layering is like the third trimester, things are really taking shape now, your quilt is becoming a reality!
Usually we begin by locating pins and masking tape. It’s been so long… You think, when is the last time you basted? You hope the tape is still sticky and floor is clean! As the layers are carefully piled on the floor your cats begin to see the batting as their own personal kitty toy. They run under and over as you try to smooth it out. Having finally wrestled the cats away, taped the backing down, and layered the batting and quilt top, you begin.
You want to enlist your quilt friends to help. If you can’t seem to locate any helpers, rent a film, a long one, and listen as you baste the day away. Some four hours later, you have the satisfaction of holding what is beginning to feel like a quilt. Only you have about six months, or so, of quilting ahead of you.
As the days, turn into weeks and months, progress is being made and your under finger is now chopped meat. You’re breaking quilting needles at a pretty regular pace and hoping not to snap one into your eye. Fortunately, you have the perfect salve that helps to soothe the offended finger over-night.
As the last of the quilting stitches are sewn in, a bittersweet feeling overcomes. So glad to be finished, but we will miss the comfortable familiarity of picking up this quilt every evening.
Happily, you have put aside fabric for the binding. Once again, the cats come alive and enjoy swatting at the binding strip as it dangles over the ironing board, as you press it in half. An uneventful process, the binding is attached to the squared-up quilt and all that is left is the label and maybe a rod-pocket. The label will announce the birthday of the quilt and the proud quilt-maker.
Reprinted from May 2009