I looked up the synonyms for finished and found there really aren't any that mean what I want to say. Finished, done, and complete don't really express just what I'm feeling. I've never spent two years making a quilt before. I've started them in the winter and then quilted them the following fall, with time out in the summer for weather that was too warm to curl up under the quilt, a necessary step the way I hand quilt. That was the longest before this. But now, Beyond the Cherry Trees is finished. Yay!!! Honestly, I feel a sense of relief. Looking at the marked and basted quilt, waiting to take that first quilting stitch, I felt overwhelmed. What was I doing? Would it ever be done? There were so many lines and they were so long. I had other projects to get to. Did I really have to finish this first? Well, yes, because otherwise, it might never get finished. But once I started, it took either nine or ten days to hand quilt. I honestly don't remember if I started quilting on a Friday evening or the next morning. And now it's completed and on my great-great-grandmother's bed.
I've read others' favorite steps on blogs and have to add mine - picking the fabrics and sewing down the binding. I must be one of those goal oriented people. I enjoy the process or I'd never start a project but I really enjoy finishing it and picking out the next one (which I've often already done). When a project of any kind takes too long, I get bored with it or decide I don't like something about it. There were several times when I almost didn't make the next block on this quilt. But I'd spent so much time on it that I decided that was just dumb so I made the next one and the next one and ... now it's complete. It was fun looking at the fabrics I chose as I stitched through them. There's only one block where I wish I'd picked something else. But out of 25 blocks and four long borders, that's not bad!
Here are a few of the pictures ---
|on the bed|
|from the side|
|toward the foot of the bed|
|close up of only motif - flower in left third and bird in upper right|
Most of the quilting is straight line in a chevron pattern. I like straight line quilting and didn't want the motifs to compete with the applique which is, to me, the focus of this quilt. At least it's my focus. This particular block needed something in the middle, though, because there was a really large blank area in the center of it. I don't at all mind the blank areas between the blocks or in the borders.