I Needed:
  1. Masking tape
  2. 2 million safety pins
  3. Another adult to help stretch and tape the quilt
  4. A walking foot
  5. The perfect blue thread

I had:
  1. Blue painter's tape - not so sticky
  2. Only 1 million safety pins
  3. A 18 month old and 3 year old - they weren't destructive, but...
  4. A regular foot with an attachment for making parallel lines
  5. A bit too light blue thread

So I:
  1. Didn't stretch the backing and top as well as I should have
  2. Only pinned 5 inches apart
  3. Looked at it and thought, "Wow, that is a lot of blue. Maybe I should have gone back to the store and got some more navy for section under the squares. Oh, well."
  4. Started quilting free motion squares
  5. Un-picked the free motion squares
  6. Realized that quilting on a ULTRA LARGE expanse of solid in the slightly wrong color of thread doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes
  7. Took some deep breaths, ate some chocolate, debated how to quilt it
  8. Decided to straight line quilt it - I don't have a walking foot, but I decided that I wouldn't do the lines too close together and it would turn out ok, right?
  9. Started quilting - it started out ok. Then I got a pucker, but one pucker on a twin sized quilt isn't bad, right?
  10. Tried to tell myself it wasn't going to turn out as bad as I thought it was, as I took out pins to ease fabric into place and as the fabric got wavier and wavier as I quilted more and more lines.
  11. Told myself, "It will just look crinkly when it washes, right?" Wrong. Big Fail.
I didn't cry:
  1. While quilting
  2. When my husband came home and I showed it to him
  3. When we went out to dinner with people from work and the subject came up. I did start to get really frustrated when I thought about the quilt and then thought, "These people must think I am crazy. Who sews a quilt? Who gets spitting angry over quilting problems?"
I did shed some tears of frustration as I looked at my thrashed house and wavy fabric-ed quilt. I was so focused on finishing that quilt I had let housework slide and literal mountains of laundry pile up. What was worse, I hadn't given the quilt the time it needed so it was ruined.

Instead of hurrying the project, I needed to have:
  1. Unpicked the lower strip of blue and replaced it with navy.
  2. Bought more pins and tape
  3. Waited until my husband could help me tape it after the kids were in bed (seriously, it was a monster).
  4. Taken the time to practice my free motion quilting on scrap fabric

So today I put it away and I feel much better. I cleaned the house (still have the piles of laundry) and put up some decorations. My brother will not be getting this quilt for Christmas. He won't mind. He probably doesn't know or care that I am making it, but I can't handle giving him a crummy quilt when I can do better. I can't handle stressing myself out over getting it shipped in time for Christmas. The quilt is going in the "after Christmas" pile and I am going to try to not bite off more than I can handle. Maybe after Christmas my husband and I can snuggle under it and unpick over 20 lines of stitching while we watch TV in the evening. Deep breaths...