Monday, December 07, 2009

Done & Bound


By Friday afternoon, the quilting was complete on the holiday quilt. I used my spray bottle to dampen it front and back as it lay on some towels, then left it overnight for the bit of shrinking the cotton/poly batting would undergo as it dried to work its magic. By morning it was no longer rumpled but had taken on a finished look, the flaws of some of the quilting gently softened.


The center square has a message quilted in as well as quilting around the applique: "Merry Christmas, "Ho Ho Ho" and "2009."


Here you can see how I mimicked the curve of the applique holly leaves in the way I turned the quilting pattern around the corner.


Some of the smaller areas received a single holly leaf with berries. This is one of the areas where I quilted around a freezer paper template rather than through quilting paper needlepunched with the design.


The red fabric used in the star makes a perfect ending in this traditional 1/4" french fold binding applied entirely by machine. I lost an inch both directions after quilting and blocking - it now measures 47 inches square. (Click on any picture for a larger view.)


6 comments:

Exuberant Color said...

It turned out very nice. The red is perfect at the edge.

The WestCountryBuddha said...

Wow how fabulous is that! So very festive and I love the binding...the red is spot on. Your mother in law should be over the moon!

Chris said...

I'm catching up with your blog. So you had not ever free motion quilted? There really is a knack to it, that only experience can produce. I am getting better. I've used very few guides when I free motion. I mean, I really wing it. I've had several simple but effective tips from reading your blog. I don't think I would quilt through paper, but quilting around a freezer paper form? That has a lot of possibilities!

Oh, the joys of a finished project. It looks great.

Deborah said...

It's beautiful!

June said...

Very nice -- and lots of work. Good job!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks everyone! I really am pretty pleased with it, although if I'd had my druthers (and more time and more inclination) I would have preferred to quilt it a little more densely. Still, I know it will be appreciated and loved on the other end.

Chris, this was NOT my first free motion quilting. In fact, I am a little embarrassed to admit just how long I've been machine quilting - I should be much better at it by now. I've taken classes from the best and know exactly what I am supposed to do, but struggle with that eye/hand coordination thing. I know if I quilted more often, I would get much better. In fact, back when I was still doing traditional work, I machine quilted a queen-size reproduction quilt heirloom style that won an award in the AQS show in Nashville. But in heirloom work, the stitches are not supposed to show so much. Maybe that's why this kind of machine quilting is so daunting to me - the stitches are supposed to show and there's less room for error. Couple that with my more formal aesthetic (symmetry vs asymmetry, perfectly spaced parallel lines) and perhaps you can see why I am a bit unhappy with my free motion results sometimes. Yes, I hold myself to a pretty high standard!

On some of my art pieces I do "wing it" as you say, - you just can't mark everything - but I have yet to feel really comfortable with that. I need my guides! I wouldn't use the paper pattern in every instance, but I've found it particularly useful where you do need even spacing of a repeat pattern. The paper is like dress pattern tissue paper, so not a big deal to sew through, and tears off so cleanly. Yes, isn't the freezer paper template stitch-around brilliant? Wish I could take credit for the idea, but it is a tip I read in a quilting magazine. Glad to hear you are finding a use for some of my tricks that I enjoy sharing.