This was an improvisational quilt so when I started it I didn’t know exactly how it would end.
This is how it ended.
My thanks go out to all my fellow quilters who made suggestions on how to do the quilting. I loved reading your comments and I loved the way you made me think about my design decisions.
Some of my decisions were based own limitations as a hand quilter and some on my desire for a relatively speedy result. One decision was based on a material constraint. After all that anticipation, the sparkly thread I had planned to use turned out to be a total PITA to use, something sewfrench had hinted might be a possibility. I couldn’t get the thread through the eye of either a hand sewing needle or the machine needle without it unraveling, so I had to put it aside and use ordinary cotton thread. I actually used different colours on the top and in the bobbin, which is risky unless your tension is perfect. My tension wasn’t perfect, but I think I got away with it.
Here’s a close up of the quilting.
The machine quilting was done using a long stitch and 100% cotton thread
I’m happy with the finished result and I’m happy with the quilting. Now all I need is for someone to get pregnant so it can find a new home. I wonder if any of my fellow quilters would be willing to help out with that one?
Update: Turns out a member of my extended family had a happy accident not too long ago and there is a baby on the way. The quilt will soon be winging its way across the ocean to join the mother and father to be. Funny how the universe provides, isn’t it?
It’s all put together. Not my best work, but I still quite like it and quilting will fix the minor imperfections. Right?
I am still eying the sparkly blue thread I bought with great anticipation because I think it’s going to look terrific against the other colours in the quilt. But I have no idea how to actually quilt it. I’m inclined not to do anything special on the borders due to those minor imperfections I mentioned earlier, in particular a small amount of waviness, so I expect to go edge to edge. I won’t be using free motion quilting either, because I don’t know how to do that and I don’t have the time or inclination to learn just at the moment.
Any suggestions? The top measures 29 by 29 inches by the way.
Update: Thanks to everyone who made suggestions. I enjoyed reading your comments. Here’s how the quilt ended up.
If you reached this post via a search engine and you want to fast forward to the finished quilt, here it is. Otherwise, please read on.
Spotlight had a Scratch and Win card bundled in with their mailing recently. I scratched and I won.
My prize was a modest $5 gift voucher but it made me feel like a winner.
I had the card with me when I went to Spotlight to get a zipper for another project. The sale bin was on the way to the zipper section so I stopped to take a look. In it was a fat quarter batik bundle. The bundle was marked down from $24.95 (outrageous!) to $8 (totally acceptable.)
I took home a set of eight navy blue batiks. The eight became seven almost immediately.
Note the poor registration of the dotted fabric to the right
I culled one of the fat quarters straight after the pre-wash. It developed some red watermarks that make me think the colours weren’t stable. Between that and the really poor print quality on one of the other fabrics I was really glad I hadn’t paid full price. If I had, I would probably have marched right back to Spotlight and requested a refund by now.
The plan is to make a cot quilt. I’m going to use friendship stars and call the design Starry Night.
This will be designated an improvisational quilt. Here’s why:
- I won’t be following a pattern.
- If I run out of one fabric, I’ll pick another.
- I have some sparkly thread that tones in wonderfully with the batik at the bottom of the pile in the photo.The sparkly thread will feature in the quilt, somehow.
Finally (and this is unrelated to being improvisational), it won’t be professionally quilted. I’m still suffering sticker shock after getting long-arming quote for the bento boxes. Without disclosong the full amount, let’s just say it was more than $100. Ouch!
I’m not very good at estimation. Once again, I completely under-estimated the amount of time it would take me to make this cot quilt. Unpicking never helps get the project done and there was plenty of unpicking with this one too.
I used my brand new walking foot to echo quilt the pyramids and I’m pleased to report it worked well. In fact, it worked so well that I’m going to rip out all the machine stitching on the modified Dolly Madison Star quilt and machine quilt it in the ditch all over again. I can hardly wait. No, really.
Even though this quilt measures roughly 34 by 45 inches finished, it was tricky to work the bulk of the quilt through the throat of my sewing machine. There was also an unexpected problem along the way – the quilt top touched against the part of the machine that holds the needle and goes up and down (which I’m sure has a name) and a speck of sewing machine oil was transferred to the top. I treated it with laundry soap, but this one will definitely need a wash before it goes anywhere.
The echo quilting was more of a pain than I expected it to be. The quilting wasn’t done in long straight lines, or even continuous curves, so I found myself starting and stopping frequently and then needing to travel to my next pyramid.
Soft and Cuddly: Note the Pyramids
For a positive learning from this project, the hand basting didn’t take that long and I’d do it again for the stability it gave the quilt sandwich. The presence of pins would have made it just that little bit more difficult to position the quilt at the right starting point. As it was, I had to hold the presser foot lever up by hand to give sufficient clearance while positioning the quilt top to start quilting.
Time and time again, I would start sewing without remembering to put the presser foot lever down again and the stitching would go all over the place. There’s a saying about idiots being the ones who repeat the same error over and over. By that standard this quilt provided ample evidence of my idiocy.
Now that this quilt is ready to gift, I think I’ll move back to my house blocks. Once they’re cut, they come together quite quickly. I’m working to a vision of a 9 by 9 house quilt with blue sashing.