Barbara is working on a spool quilt and it reminded me that I should post a picture of my spool quilt. This is the only large quilt I've finished. It took eleven years! I have another 'flimsy' queen-sized top and am working on three bed-size quilts at the moment, so it won't be lonely in the universe for long.
I started this quilt the summer I was 16. I was in the middle of nowhere in Kansas for the summer with a new driver's license and no job in sight. The local kids had the few jobs there were and my high school in Massachusetts got out about a month later than the local schools. Anyway, I drove my little brother back and forth to his swimming lessons. That didn't take much time. I had done a little sewing before high school - including a baby quilt when my brother arrived on the scene, some potholders, and even a dress! My mom had recently taken a quilting class - a new method for making Drunkard's Path (I have the blocks and the tool now, since I have a better finishing track record!) - and I must have gotten some sort of Little House on the Prairie image in my head. Somehow I convinced my parents to let me drive to all the quilt shops in the teeny-tiny no-stoplight towns around us. I wonder how many of those shops are still around. Anyway, I bought a few blue and green prints - just in 1/4 yard pieces - at each shop.
My mom must have taken two classes, because there was a copy of Quilts, Quilts, Quilts (the first edition) hanging around. I was dead set on the blue and red spool quilt pattern, even though my mom said there was something called Y-seams involved - she hadn't done them either. So, I made a queen-sized top using cardboard templates and inset seams for my first real quilt! Not sure what I was thinking. I machine pieced it on my mom's Husqvarna - mostly while watching Jay Leno on tv, as I recall. It was a small house, so I couldn't have the stuff out all day - for some reason we needed to eat on the table.
So, it went in a box. It moved to Maine. It got wrinkled and lonely. In December 2002, a friend was getting married. She knits gorgeous afghans for her friends as wedding gifts. I decided that I wasn't so attached to the spools anymore and I knew that she would appreciate such a gift! I found a long-armer in upstate NY through an American friend in Romania and had it finished in time for their first anniversary. It's living happily ever after with two baby quilts (here and here) in suburban Washington, DC.