King Fox Quilt
Almost two years ago, I was on my way to work and spotted a cute pair of red foxes romping in a field. I don't know why but in that moment I decided to make a fox quilt. It was such a sweet moment between the two little beasties, I wanted to capture it in some way. Maybe because I was recently engaged and all gross, lovey-dovey at the time? Maybe because I wanted a huge project to distract me from wedding planning? Either way, I'm glad I did it. In hindsight, I realize this fox quilt taught me a lot about myself as an artist and craftsperson. In the past, all my projects I took seriously were for school and therefore had deadlines. I didn't notice it during those times but now I know a lot of my artwork was rushed and because of that I settled for less. In other words, I was not a perfectionist, something I have never been before this project. I spent the next two weeks designing the quilt, meticulously noting every measurement, and keeping a spreadsheet of exactly how much fabric I would need for every section (with the final dimensions at 112" by 120" it amounted to A LOT of fabric). I made a couple simple quilts in the past and the designing and planning stages were nothing like this. Typically, I would doodle a little boxy design on some graph paper, buy a few yards of fabric, and wing it. Those quilts were much smaller and were NOT perfect, but I used them and they served their purpose. A fun, quick project resulting in a snuggle companion.
Another big difference between this fox quilt and the others was the quilting itself. The smaller quilts were both assembled and make-shift quilted on my cheap little White machine. That obviously ended in a couple wonky corners and some awkward binding, but still quite sturdy. This project had to be different. While I was not ready to commit to hand assembling the jumbo size quilt, I was determined to hand quilt and bind the whole thing. And so, for the next eight months between planning a wedding, buying a house, and working full time, I did.
It was absolutely therapeutic. It was so nice to sprawl out on the couch, put on some good tunes, or a funny rerun and immerse myself in the monotony of slowly stitching one 12" by 12" section at a time. I believe I went through all the seasons of Parks & Recreation available at least three times. No need to look at the TV screen, just focus on my quilting and giggle at the adorable friendship between Leslie and Ron.
The best part about the whole project was the lack of a deadline. If some blocks weren't aligned properly, or I messed up a stitch, I had time to fix them. There was no rush, no looming pressure of "making the grade". I was making this quilt for myself and I wanted it to be my best work. I found a level of perfectionist in me I never knew I had.