Tuesday, September 25, 2012


 Here it is! Finally! The Kentopp quilt. I will be so happy to pass this on to its new owners.. who have only been married at this point for what... like 4 months? So that's like a new record for me. Maybe in another decade I'll give someone a wedding gift on time!

The front of this queen(ish) size quilt is obviously pieced KENTOPP blocks, and the back is Kona cotton gray, with a quilted map of our fair city. It was super wrinkly. And it turns out that although I will spend approximately a zillion hours hand quilting a map of your city, I will not spend 10 minutes ironing it. So.. I guess it's good to know that about myself? 

Moving out from the center of the city, Austin gets rural pretty fast. I could count on Mopac, 35, 183 and 360 to give me a general guideline of where I was, but once I was outside of those roads, I had to pick and choose which farm and county roads were going to make it onto the map. 

How many times did I decide I must have spelled this wrong, even though I've been friends with Richard for over a decade, and have actually signed a lease with him? Gotten his mail out of a mailbox everyday for a year? Probably at least 5. 

I named big neighborhoods, and also Austin places that I thought might be especially important to the Kentopps. Perhaps before I hand it over I should stick some venues on there? Or Shangri-la? 

I decided not to get into it with Mueller -- that neighborhood is newish and a bit too twisty and turny for my sanity at that point in the project. And Hyde Park is DENSE man! 

But look! Here's their adorable little Cherrywood house! That was maybe my favorite part. (Possibly because it was one of the last things I did and I could see light at the end of the tunnel). 

The airport got a big wonky plane that looks like a rocket ship with spiky chicken wings on the side. Lesson learned. I cannot "just freehand" a plane. Or really anything but a tiny house. 

And Westlake, of course. I had to name it because there weren't enough big streets over there to hold the batting in place. I guess I could have quilted a little SUV? 

And here's the behind-the-scenes! Me and my faithful helpers, at Chase's office. We hung the quilt up in front of the blackboard and projected the google map. 

I chalked in the main streets, the river, the neighborhoods, and just hoped and prayed that the chalk would stay long enough to guide me when I got there. I DID have problems with quite a few areas that were pretty faint by the time I got to them -- I'm looking at you Clarksville! 

And here is the real hero of this project. Straining to hold this beast up for the photo shoot is the least of his many contributions. Pausing Treme while I threaded another needle. Saying "Oh I'm sorry, that must be so frustrating... please tell me more..." when I pricked my finger/lost the thread/broke a stitch, etc. Patiently not veering into oncoming traffic like a damn saint whenever I yelled "OH THAT'S WHAT THIS INTERSECTION LOOKS LIKE! I GET IT NOW!" while driving through a particularly difficult-to-quilt area of town. 

Also he at no point told me I was insane. Even when I was quilting desperately on the night before the wedding, in order to bring the quilt to the rehearsal dinner, because who doesn't want a quilt at a rehearsal dinner? Any normal getting-married person? SHUT YOUR MOUTH. 

ANYWAY. It's done now. And leaving my hands at some point this week. Making a quilt for a new baby is wonderful, and while I do it I'm thinking about the parents, the family, all the ways it will be changing, all the things I'm hoping and praying for that new person. 

A wedding quilt is different -- I'm praying for entirely different things for these recipients. Maybe I'm also kind of hoping I'll be making them another (tiny) quilt at some point in the semi-distant future.  Also instead of covering one itty bitty person, this has to cover two full size (or in the case of Molly, almost full size) humans. It takes a lot longer. It's hours of hopes and prayers for these two people becoming a family. Assuming I wasn't just watching Project Runway the whole time, in which case, this quilt would be imbued with the living spirit of Tim Gunn. 

I guess they'll find out, either way.