Indigo's birthday came last, on April 11th. A couple months ago, when I was working on the Love Letters quilt, she would pick out a patch of Anna Maria's velveteen, hold it to her face and tell me how she wanted a quilt of all velveteen for her birthday. Anna Maria described how the velveteen can be challenging to work with because the texture of the fabric makes it shift a bit while sewing. Even with pins, I found it to be hard to piece, although worth the effort, being most of my Love Letters quilt was made up of quilting cottons. Still, I wasn't up for piecing an entire quilt top in velveteen, especially not in the nauseous and fatigued state that I was in at the time.
So, in February, I let Indi choose her two favorite velveteen prints. I planned to quilt them together - no piecing. I had hoped that she'd forget about it by April - that it would be a surprise. I heard no word from her about through February or March.
About a week before her birthday, I started working on the quilt. I was cutting it a little too close for my comfort, especially because I was determined to hand sew the binding. It was okay if it was a few days late, I thought, after all, she's probably forgotten all about it by now. Forget about it, she did not. Four days before her birthday, she exclaimed, "Oh mom, I cannot wait to get my new velveteen quilt for my birthday." At that point I was right about here in the process.
[an aside: painter's tape works much better than Scotch tape for marking quilting lines]
The pressure was on. I was unsure whether I'd be done in time. But I didn't want to let her down. T-3 days to her birthday I picked up the binding fabric. I hand sewed the binding in the final two evenings. That has become my favorite part of the entire process. I avoided it for as long as I could but have grown to love it now. There is nothing quite like cozying up under a freshly sewn quilt, making my way around the binding one quiet stitch at a time. I finished... only hours before Indigo's birthday. But finished I did. That's all that really matters, right?
Happy 4th Birthday, sweet Indigo! Your exuberant joy blesses us every day - just like you do!