Lala's 14th birthday is March 16. Jen found a pattern for a quilt that she knew Lala would love, but the question was how could we make it without Lala knowing it would be hers? (Never mind that none of us had ever made quilt before. We can read, can't we?) Jen acquired a mysterious buyer for a quilt on her Etsy Store. This buyer had a teen-aged daughter who would get the quilt, so, of course, Lala was our expert on what a teen would like.
Jen had her help select the fabric. When it was cut, Lala (who has a great eye for color) was the one to place the strips before I pieced them for the top. She was also intimately involved in every stage of the quilt making, from cutting of the fabric to putting the final quilt together. All along, she thought she was helping Mom prepare the quilt for a sale.
My serger was a Godsend for this project. I was the seamstress while Jen engineered the pattern and the cutting. I sat up in my living room and serged like crazy!
This became quite a project. Even though Jen and Lala live across town with her boyfriend, they spent several overnights here while we had marathon quilting days. We roped the boyfriend into figuring out how to put together the quilting frame that my folks had stashed in the garage loft. None of us had any clue how the thing should look when finished. There were no pictures or boxes, just a bunch of boards with no screws. Neither Jen nor I could help Steve because we were doing our parts of quilt making. He surfed the Internet for photos of quilt frames, scratched his head a lot, and stood the the challenge. I salute you, Steve Barnes! You did a great job reconstructing the quilting frame.
The last week was planned to be leisurely. Put the border around the top, add the applique and tie the quilt as a comforter. Yeah. Right. You know how that goes. Life is what happens after you make other plans. I wasn't available much of the week at all. My car died and was cooling it's wheels in a parking lot in Burlington. I was scrambling to either fix it or replace it. Jen and Lala were on their own with the quilt and Jen had never run my serger.
It came down to Lala's birthday. The quilt was together, but not tied. Lala's friends came at noon for a birthday party. Jen gathered the girls in a back room and told them our secret and our problem. Abby, Sabrina and Angela were troopers! The girls put a DVD in the player, turned the TV toward the quilting frame and had at it. By the time the movie was over, the comforter was tied!
The official birthday supper was at HuHot in Topeka. Sabrina and Angela were able to go with us. You can't believe Lala's face when Jen handed her the quilt! "No, this isn't mine. It's for that chick on Etsy..." was the first thing she said.
Her mother had to assure her it was hers and made with love by family and friends. Lala just grabbed it and hugged it.