Thursday, December 12, 2013

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Ragtime Reindeer

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's selection is a pair of those "shaggy raggy" quilts that were all the rage about ten years ago.  I made these on a retreat weekend with my BQF Pam.  We had been to a larger retreat the year before and decided that a weekend with just the two of us in Panama City Beach sounded like less money, better food, and more fun.

So off we went to PCB and had such great talks on the ride.  We barely got out of pajamas the whole weekend, but got so much quilting finished.  We never made it down onto the beach, but it was warm enough to leave the sliding doors open and hear the ocean.  My favorite moment of the trip was watching an episode of ER where a soccer mom type had gotten hooked on meth so she could get everything done.  Pam looked at me solemnly and said, "That would be us if we didn't do things like this weekend."  Amen, sister! 

Anyway, I wanted to make a flannel rag quilt for each of the boys for Christmas, and had found holiday flannel on sale at JoAnn's.   That was my first mistake.  As I would eventually learn, not only does cheap fabric fray wildly (which might sound good for a rag quilt), but the color also bleeds no matter how many times you prewash with color catchers. 

I chose a simple rail fence variation for speed and simplicity.  The quilts went together in no time, and I happily snipped the seam allowances in front of the TV until I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome.  I finally finished just before Christmas and, despite having been warned, decided to try washing them in my home machine.

I can not emphasize enough what a bad idea this is.  Especially on Christmas Eve, when a washing machine repairman is nowhere to be found.  And when the dry cleaners and laundromats are closed.   Don't do it. 

The valve where the water drains out of my washer got all clogged with loose threads on about the second cycle.  I had a washer full of water, a sopping wet quilt that weighed a ton, and a laundry room full of clothes that still needed to go in.  TPB was not happy to spend Christmas Even trying to take the washer apart so we could use an unbent coat hanger to fish fabric out of a tube.

Eventually, though, the quilts were completed, and the boys still keep them on their beds in the winter.  When they are sick, this is the quilt they want to wrap up in on the couch - much to my dismay since they have to be taken to the cleaners.  At this point it might be safe to wash them at home, but I'm not going to try it!  There are still pink blotches where the color has run so many times and cannot be gotten out, but no one cares anymore. 

These truly are utility quilts, used and abused on a regular basis, but so loved.  When I see them I think of my boys when they were little and remember that wonderful weekend of quilting with the sound of the waves at my back.  I think that's what makes quilts so magical to me - so many memories triggered by the sight or touch of a bit of fabric and thread. 

What magical memories will you share with us this week?   Link up and let us all see!

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