My BFF—although when we met years ago in the church nursery, we didn’t call ourselves this—recently celebrated an important wedding anniversary. Her children planned a surprise for Betty and Chuck. All their friends were asked to make a quilt square and one of the wives would stitch them together. How much fun, I thought. How easy and cheap.
Ha! I spent nearly seventy dollars on creating that 10” X 10” piece of cotton, expended hours coming up with the design and putting the square together, and it ended up looking as if our cats found a box of crayons and some glue and made a mess.
For that reason and to save you the heartbreak, let me give you some tips if you are ever asked to do this.
1) PLAN I ended up with three different ideas and purchased the supplies for each. That’s what cost so much and took up so much time.
2) KEEP IT SIMPLE My final idea was a montage of events and groups she and I had shared, an homage to the past, nostalgic and heartwarming. However, I had too much detail. If I’d stuck with only a few ideas, there would not have been the big black smear or the messy iron-ons.
3) KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS I’m a writer not an artist. I probably should have written a reflection on all we did together and my memories of my friend and her husband and glued it on the square. I could have printed it off on colored paper. The whole project would have been cheaper and prettier and without the black smear.
4) And this is the one I really recommend: Hire someone to do this for you.
Fortunately, Betty loved the square. At least she said she did. That makes up for the time and money and makes me happy. (PS, that is NOT Betty and Chuck’s quilt but that is our cat. I’m donating this quilt–made by my gandmother nearly a century ago–to Brenda Hiatt’s auction for a cure for diabetes.)