Old Friends (Bookends): my first finished quilt

( … which isn’t a wall hanging)

Old Friends (Bookends) Quilt

I’ve got a whole stack of quilts in progress, showing that I can’t concentrate on just one project even when I’m just learning a new craft, but this is technically my first finished quilt. Just a small one, a little lap quilt of 40″ square for my best friend, Tammy (or The Mighty Tamboosh, as she prefers to be called), for Christmas.

Christmas?! Yes, this was a late present, but not this late. I sent it around February 10th-ish and Tammy just got it about a week ago. I’d pretty much already accepted that it was gone forever, and wondering how to re-create it, when she told me it had finally arrived. Phew.

Old Friends (Bookends) Quilt

I obviously couldn’t blog as I went on this one, so I’ll share what I can about the process now. I was inspired by a few scrappy quilts I’d seen on Flickr, as well as the basic coin quilt pattern, thinking that Tammy would like a variety of fabrics a scrappy style would have. I also knew I wanted her gift to have some meaning beyond the simply handmade, and quickly landed on the idea of two scrappy lines running side-by-side, apart from the others, to symbolize a friendship.

Old Friends (Bookends) Quilt

The color scheme was kind of an accident – I’d found the corduroy for backing in a remnant bin and had it folded on my desk with some other blue-greens that I’d set aside, with some unrelated pink fabric on top of the pile. It was pretty. Not a great story, but true.

So I cut 80 million tiny 2.5″-tall pieces, laid them out in a pleasing order, and just started sewing. Not a lot to tell about the piecing process, it was slow but really exciting to see it all come together. Quilting was scary, being my first non-practice free motion work. I practiced on scraps, over and over, and it all worked out reasonably well. Not perfect, there’s some serious room for improvement, but I wasn’t embarrassed to give it as a gift.

Old Friends (Bookends) Quilt

An embroidered tag to finish it off, and the quilt’s name from the touching little song “Old Friends” by Simon & Garfunkel. It’s a little sad, a little sweet and exactly what I hope my friendship with Tammy will still be many years from now.

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