Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Watermelon for George

My friend George had a stroke several weeks ago.
It's a real blessing that he is doing very well, is out of the hospital, and working hard at physical therapy so he can get back home.
I'm leaving at 0Dark:15 on Tuesday morning (yes, that is even earlier than 0Dark:30!) for the airport, and the long airplane trip out to Seattle...DH & I are headed West to see George and many other wonderful friends in the Pacific NorthWest.

Meanwhile, Pat Hagen has devoted some space on her website to run an auction to raise some money against those medical bills. To take a look at the wonderful paintings and other donations, click on George's Auction.
This is my contribution:The title is "Because It's Planted in the Spring", which is, of course, the answer to the question, why do they call it water-melon?
(we take a momentary pause here for groaning....)
The quilt is about 52" x 70", all cotton, made in the Boston Commons pattern, and in that white area there are watermelon leaves quilted in pink thread.

Like all quilts, it has A Story!

Although I made this several years ago, it has never been used, so now I am quite happy for it to go out into the world.
It's washable! I know, because I had drawn the leaves on with a blue washout pen, and finished quilting it at noon on the day it was to be turned in for QuiltFest by 3 PM.
I thought I was going to just wipe off the marker and be done...oh, no such luck. I had to really soak all around that quilt to get the blue marks off.
By then it was sopping wet, so it went into the drier...and it was actually delivered at Check-in still toasty warm!

Imagine my distress when I was gliding through the show on my way home after helping to hang the quilts. There was my Watermelon...looking like it was waving in the wind!
I'm not a perfectionist about quilts, but I do have students who are looking for whatever I have in the show each year. Most important, I know how to make borders so the quilt hangs fairly straight.
What had gone wrong???

Finally, in the middle of the night, I realized the large white section had been so wet, the cotton batting shrank when I put it in the drier....but the rest of the quilt had never been wet, so it did not shrink!
I felt better, having solved the mystery, even though the waviness was still a tad bit irritating!

Now you may be wondering how I decided to make a watermelon quilt in the first place.
This was actually made as a class sample back when I was teaching Quilt In A Day at a Big Box Store. I always make a sample, no matter how easy the pattern is, but after awhile I could no longer make a nice regular quilt every time.
When I saw the Boston Commons design, I just flashed on the new watermelon fabrics that had recently come into a real quilt shop, and there was no turning back!

The next time you need to make something traditional or quick or in that vein, go with it...the sewing will be easy.
But get some really great colors, or use some crazy "conversation" prints. Your project will be more fun in the end!

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