Friday, November 25, 2016

Flowers Around My Cabin - Raffle Quilt for 2017

I finally completed the quilt I've been working on for months.  It's for my guild chapter's 2017 raffle (Foothills Quilters).

I'm so grateful that I was able to pass this off on Thanksgiving morning to the lady who is sewing on the binding. 

Back Story:  I quilted the quilt with an all-over feather meander in the center, small feathers in the red border, and outlined the applique, and then meandered around it.  I quilted this in mostly 2 hour stretches while my 2 1/2 year old great grandson was napping (on the days I wasn't so tired from chasing him around that I had to nap right along with him).

The ladies in Foothills made log cabin blocks for a quilt we donated to our meeting place.  I took the left-over blocks to make this raffle quilt (think left-overs = many blocks not true to size).  As you might guess, when asking for 12 1/2" blocks that will be 12" when finished, sometimes you get 12" blocks before they're finished.  That meant I needed to remake a dozen of the blocks to make them fit together.  We chose this star layout which I think is kind of unique and striking. 

I then gave a class on appliqueing an easy way (glue method), made kits for the ladies, and passed as many out as I could find takers.  After I collected them I made the ones that were missing for the layout I designed, and sewed them onto the borders.  Sewing them on took about 73 hours.  I missed a few session of keeping track so this number is conservative. 

Then I proceeded to figure out a design for the quilting and did some marking of the top.  Loading also took some thought because of the pieced backing, so I'm pleased that that turned out okay.  A lady in our group made the pieced back using several of the smallest blocks and I appliqued some flowers and leaves on it after I completed the quilting.

I decided on Dream Wool batting because the feather meander has some rather long feathers in some places and Dream batting can be quilted farther apart than what I had originally planned to use (Hobbs 80/20).  This quilt feels cuddly already with the wool batting in it.

After I completed the quilting, I realized it would need a hanging sleeve so we could display it on our quilt rack for the raffle.  So made that and a label that included laundering instructions. 

I was so pleased to hand it off just before noon on Thanksgiving.  Yea!

Here are some close-ups of the quilting and the back of the quilt:

Friday, November 18, 2016

"What I Love about Quilting" - red work quilting girls quilt

Here is the quilt I made last month for our Foothills Annual Quilt Challenge - the theme was "What I am grateful for about Foothills or Quilting".

I decided to use my little red work quilting girl blocks that had been languishing for about 9 years so it's a long-overdue UFO for me too.  I'm happy that they were right for the theme and are now made into a quilt.  The swag borders are pre-printed yardage.  I added hand applique bows at the corners.  It took a lot of calculating to make the pre-printed borders fit along the block edges evenly.  Thankfully trimming the blocks to a smaller size and choosing a good sashing width made it all fit together.

I did custom quilting on this quilt and it seemed to take half-of-forever (a total of about 62 hours).   I love quilting feathers and meandering, but struggle with ruler work, so was glad when that part was finished.  I put in some really long days getting this done on time - not what I want to repeat anytime soon.  We had been having our great grandson here so much, that I didn't think I'd ever be able to get enough time to finish it by the deadline, but it finally got finished.

Getting the marking out turned out to be a challenge.  I used Sewline pencil with pink lead and Bohin colored chalk, the purple.  I thought I had pre-tested them but not good enough I guess.  I'm going to have to be more careful in the future.

I plan to give the back a little bit more attention before I call this quilt completely finished.  It seems that when I was changing thread colors my longarm came unthreaded and I struggled getting it to sew evenly after I re-threaded.  The stitching looks okay on the front but there are some loops around some of the curved feather tips on the back.  I think I'll come up with an applique idea and do some back art to cover those "loopies".  I'll post some pictures when I get the back art finished. 

All in all, I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but I prefer a more leisurely experience when I'm quilting.  It's done though so now I can switch to doing a little bit of handwork - something I really enjoy.  A much slower pace too. 

Here are a few close-ups so you can see the quilting.