While I was sitting at one of my family Christmas celebrations, scrolling through Instagram, I saw a post that made me cry in the middle of joyous children, a competitive card game and all of the other activities of a large boisterous family enjoying time together. One of my sorority girls from back when I was an advisor to the sorority to which I had belonged as an undergraduate student who is now a grown-up with a husband and a grown-up job had posted about the unexpected loss of their five-month-old son to an undetected birth defect. Ever since, my heart has been heavy and I've felt powerless not knowing what to say or how to reach out. A couple of weeks ago, another Sigma invited me to a benefit dinner and silent auction. I'm not able to attend the benefit, but contributing to the auction gave me something to do. I sent a note to the organizer that I would try to get a quilt to her in time for the event.
In a previous post, I outlined some of the UFO's floating around my space, but none of these seemed like the best option for this particular need. I opted to dig through my stash for one of those sets of fabric I bought but didn't have plan for and test a pattern I've been playing with for a few months. As of yet, it is unnamed, but I like the bold pattern, asymmetric layout and negative space.
I was able to finish piecing the top in a later than I should have work session after the kids' bedtime and the back in an early morning burst. Both unusual sleep-depriving bursts of productivity were not only to keep me on track to get a quilt to the auction, but also to keep my appointment with the APQS Millennium Long Arm at Innovation Studio today. I'll write a full post (or series) about Innovation Studio at some point, but in short, it is a community center with oodles of fun tools available to members. The textile lab includes regular sewing machines, industrial straight stitch and serger machines, looms and the Millennium. I completed my orientation course to the long arm a couple of weeks ago. Today was my first solo run on a quilt I had made.
My time was limited, and I was starting to get nervous when it took me a chunk of time to get everything loaded, threaded, and otherwise set-up. Once it was on, I continued to have problems with breaking threads so I opted for simple straight-line, channel-lock strip-quilting. I was able to get it done and my mess cleaned up in time to make daycare pick-up, though, so all worked out.
I can hardly wait to finish some more tops and schedule another block of time to practice my long arm quilting skills.
Now I'm down to trimming, binding and getting the quilt to the auction. I know money won't help this family replace their lost son, but I do hope it will relieve some of the financial pressure of intensive care and a funeral.