A lion-sized challenge

Several years ago, I started this lion cot quilt for my brother’s first child. I think I started it before he was born, but maybe just after, with the plan to have it sent to Australia (from the UK, where I was living at the time) in time for his first birthday. As with all my quilts, I hand pieced the top. And I was on track for completing this until the quilting started. I did it on my machine, and I now know that there were two problems: the machine hadn’t had a clean in too long (ever) and I had been sold cotton for machine piecing instead of machine quilting (yes, there’s a difference). I had so many frustrating days of doing a stack of quilting, only to have to rip it all out again. And then I hurt my shoulder, and I couldn’t use a sewing machine for a while. I tried picking it up again a year later, and the position I had to put my left arm into, caused my shoulder to freeze again. Thus started several years of being afraid to use a sewing machine. Needless to say, the quilt was never completed and my brother’s son is now 9 or 10.

A few months ago, one of my team members told me she was pregnant with her first baby. I immediately thought I could pull out this lion quilt and finish it for her. To be honest, I was still a bit hesitant about using a sewing machine. Not for having the same problems with the machine (a new one that has been sitting in it’s box since I bought it in 2015) or the thread (I got rid of that poor stuff and only have good thread now), but because my shoulder never did come right. And I’m still scared of having it seize up again, with the year of pain that follows (not that it is completely pain free since the injury). So it sat around looking at me accusingly until this weekend… my absolute last chance to finish it before the last day in the office for my team member (this coming Thursday). Luckily, on looking at it again, I decided I could get away without most of the quilting that I had pulled out, and the minimum quilting that was needed was some that was actually done ok before the first timeout. The only new quilting I absolutely had to do was add whiskers. Which I did by hand (hopefully she won’t look too closely at the back of those).

So finally, after 9 or 10 years, I have completed this small quilt that became a large challenge. It has been washed and is now ready to gift this week.

So long Lion. I won’t miss your accusing presence in my house.

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