A couple of years ago I came across a beautiful quilting website:
They make city maps into quilts, all hand sewn, and locally made in Brooklyn, NY. As soon as I saw the Manhattan quilt I wanted to make my own. (I was really torn about wanting to support the local artists at Haptic Lab, and wanting to give my boyfriend a gift and be able to say that I made it.)
M asked me if I would help him make a quilt, since his comforter was too warm most of the year. I said yes, of course, but we somehow never got around to planning it. Meanwhile I was working on this to surprise him for Christmas. One of the hardest parts was actually finding the fabric. I didn't want any seams, so after searching for oversized brown cotton at several stores and website (with very little luck) I decided to use organic cotton sheets.
Once I had the fabric, I set up my projector and traced my street map of Brooklyn on to lined paper that I taped together to form one big sheet.
I was planning on stitching right through the paper and tearing it away.
This worked on a small scale, but would have been extremely difficult and messy if I'd done it for the whole quilt. So once I got to Maine I unpacked the paper map, laid it out flat on the floor and re-traced it on to tissue paper. Much easier to sew through and tear away after.
I spent most of my time at home sitting on the couch, sewing and watching tv. The kittens were happy to help me sew, chasing my thread all over the place ;)
I had the stitching of the map almost completely finished by the time I got back home to Brooklyn, but the quilt was far from finished. I asked M if he wanted his gift unfinished or wanted to wait until it was done; he left the choice up to me. I worked on it as much as I could and finished most of it in time for our anniversary in January. So I gave it to him, but then took it back home to finish the edges.
After about 100 hours of work, I officially finished on March 1st.
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And the contrasting edging, my first attempt at blind stitching:
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Merry Christmas, my love.