(No) Golden Shadows Finish

Sometimes quilts take on a life of their own.  (No) Golden Shadows started as a square shadow quilt or throw pillow (I hadn’t yet made up my mind).  When the shadows failed to show up at the appropriate spots, I just kind of winged it.  There are no shadows to be seen in this quilt, which wound up with two-layered quilting in red and turquoise and an improvisational  block style.  At 36 x 68 inches, it is also an unusual shape for a quilt.  Perhaps a table runner?

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I did find a beautiful rust colored fabric for the binding, which was machine stitched down.  I also learned that you shouldn’t trim the batting all the way down to the quilt top, but rather should leave a good 1/4 inch.  This will help with any misplaced binding stitches and will “puff up” the binding a little.

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Now that this is finished, it is time to turn my attention back to the BOM quilt.

-Allison

A Finished Memory Quilt (I love this one!)

Yay!  Four days ago I was frustrated as can be with this one, but I’m happy to report that the quilt is finished and AWESOME!  The too short backing problem was easily solved by adding scraps to the ends which wound up looking just fine:

photo (91)I would not have liked this one if I hadn’t added the contrasting strips throughout.  It could have used a few more slashes, but I was frustrated at the time!

After I basted the quilt, I added a little embroidered note on the back:

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This was before I clipped all the little strings.  I even remembered to pull the front of the quilt away so that the writing didn’t come through (backwards) on the front of the quilt.

 

 

Next came the quilting.  I knew that all the colored parts would be quilted and the signature blocks left alone.  I also knew that I needed a design that would not call attention to the fact that the back was probably not exactly lined up with the front (though it turned out to be pretty darn close!).  I kept shying away from the idea of a meandering stitch because I’m just not very good at it, but after a day of procrastinating, I decided to just go for it.  I am SO VERY glad I did.  It seems I have finally gotten the hang of it!

On top of that, I debated for a while over what thread color to use and eventually decided to use a turquoise in the bobbin for the back (which I was already using for the (No) Golden Shadows quilt) and something new for the front.  Since I really couldn’t find the “right” color, I went with a variegated spool- shades of purple, blue and fuchsia.  It is a Sulky brand 40wt. viscose and rayon blend and it is gorgeous!  It is silky and shiny and the color changes are perfect for this quilt.  I may be upgrading my quilting thread from here on out!

The quilting did bring out one little oops: a popped seam that couldn’t be fixed with a blind stitch (it had popped because there wasn’t enough of a seam allowance).  So a few little zigzags in the corner.  It isn’t noticeable unless you are looking for it. photo (94)

And then finally, the binding.  I knew that this one would be machine stitched (I am so DONE with hand stitching binding) and I really didn’t want to buy more fabric.  The perfect purple (and just enough of it) presented itself from my stash and the only problem became finding a thread to blend with it since I knew my machine stitching was sure to have a whole bunch of stitches in the binding itself (and it certainly does!).

photo (93) So through the thunderstorm I trekked to Joann’s with purple fabric in hand to match up thread colors.  Coats and Clark number 3660 was the winner and it blends perfectly!  The purple is less blue and more purple-y than the photo shows, for those of you matching up your thread colors at home!

I also tried out my new binding clips.  I used them to do both the front and the back of the binding- they were great!

And the finished beauty:

My husband was kind enough to do quilt holding duties.  He is about 5’8, so I’m guessing the quilt is a touch over 5 feet.  And I promise that the greenish-blue block at the bottom is straight, I’m just a really lousy photographer!  Thanks again to Kaye Prince of Miss Print for the fabulous Euclid quilt tutorial.

Now back to (No) Golden Shadows!

-Allison

 

Up From Here Finish

Finished!  The Up From Here baby quilt is complete.  Some things I might do differently next time, but overall, quite happy with how this one came out.  Definitely worthy of being given as a baby gift.  And, other than finishing up the one that was already started, I don’t think I’ll ever be hand stitching binding again.   Thank you to the folks at Cluck, Cluck Sew!

Four other projects under foot at the moment:

  1. The mini Fair Isle quilt needs to have the binding finished.
  2. The (No) Golden Shadows quilt needs to be basted, quilted and bound.
  3. The Modern Block of the Month needs to have the blocks pieced together (w or w/o sashing???), and then basted, quilted and bound.
  4. A memory quilt for my son’s best friend who is moving in June.

And of course, I’ve already got some other things picked out!

-Allison

Almost done…

I had wanted a finish for Finish Up (From Here) Friday, but not sure if it will happen.  Just as quickly as Diego the dog moved out, Remy the dog moved in.  We’ve now had at least 5 chihuahua mixes as fosters, and I have to say, I’m ready for a dog that you can’t step on. Bring on the St. Bernards, please!  Remy likes to try to walk on my legs while I’m sewing.

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As for the baby quilt, I decided not to use any batting since the baby is due in early fall in Florida, and just backed it in a light grey flannel.  I stitched outlines into all of the flowered parts of the blocks and then added stippling to the entire black and white section.  Somewhere in there the machine ran into some tension problems which didn’t work themselves out till the end.  It would look odd, but you can’t really see the quilting since it is white thread on a mostly white background, so I decided to just leave it alone and not risk making things worse.

For the binding, I used the leftover floral scraps, some tiny black on white polka dot scraps from another quilt and an extra fat quarter of the blue floral I had used.  I tried to line it up so that the black and white binding was on the floral part of the quilt and the floral binding was on the black and white part of the quilt, and that mostly worked out.  I stitched the binding down yesterday and was going to start the hand stitching today.  And then I decided not to.  I slowed down the speed settings on the machine and began to machine stitch it down.  After the first few inches, I realized that I didn’t even need pins to hold it in place (though I did order some Clover Clips that haven’t arrived yet).  Why did I ever hand stitch anything?  It’s been about twenty minutes and I’m more than halfway done.  And it is so much neater than my hand stitching.  If it’s not done today, then definitely over the weekend!

-Allison

Look Ma: No Hands!

Machine Binding a Quilt

Because I have such a fondness for quilting shortcuts, I just learned to machine bind a quilt!  I used this great tutorial from Cluck, Cluck, Sew, and for my first time, it came out pretty well!  It was definitely quick and easy, and definitely came out as nice, if not better, than my hand-sewn versions.

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Here is what I learned to pay attention to for next time:

  • Use a larger binding.  She recommends 2.5 inches (before you fold it in half).  I had already cut my binding at 2 inches, and I could have used that extra 1/2 inch (ophoto-34r more) to work with!
  • Use a binding that is a different color than either the front or back fabrics you are sewing it to.  My binding is orange and white which was easy to pick out on the front green and gold fabric.  The backing fabric though is red and white, and whenever the whites were on top of each other, I couldn’t really be sure what was directly under the machine.
  • Finphoto-32ally, until I get better at this, I should consider doing it backwards: sewing on to the back first and then the front.   I have trouble keeping the second set of stitches out of the binding that has already been sewn on one side, so it would probably look better having that side on the back.  photo-35

Either way, the M&Ms Christmas quilt is now finished!  Can’t say I love it (or even really like it) but it was so great to have a “practice quilt” to try out some new things.    After finishing some of the other projects that I’m in the middle of, I think I’m going to do another practice quilt!

In the meantime, I’m looking for someplace to donate this one and/or an ugly Christmas quilt contest to enter it into (they have those, right?).

Allison