Love Quilt and A Lovely Year of Finishes

As an incentive to get some projects completed, I’m participating in A Lovely Year of Finishes hosted by Sew Bittersweet Designs and Fibers of all Kinds.

I started this Love pattern by Tula Pink in November.  It was super easy and fun to put together, but I was scared to actually start the quilting.  There’s no hiding when quilting on all that lovely negative space.

Love Quilt Collage

I regret I lost sight of the diagonal lines in the gray and there is so much horizontal lines at the letters.  But  overall, I feel this is one of my best jobs yet.

Love Quilt Aurifil Collage

To begin I was using So Fine thread and couldn’t get a good tension.  I actually quilted almost half of one white square before giving it up.  I’m not a believer in ripping out quilting, but I did this time.  No matter how I moved the tension, I had thread sitting on top or on the bottom of the quilt.  I switched over to Aurifil and the difference was dramatic.  I read of a lot of quilters, particularly long arm, who seem to love So Fine, so I’m sure it’s a good quality thread.  Maybe it’s the difference of quilting on a domestic machine, or perhaps my Bernina in particular, but Aurifil seemed to sink into the quilt with very little fussing with tension.

It may be hard to see, but the quilting on the left was done with So Fine and on the right was done with Aurifil.

And then there’s the binding.  There’s something I despise about creating binding.  I don’t mind actually sewing it on the quilt, but don’t like cutting it, piecing it, or ironing it.  But I love the spools of binding when I’m done.  It’s one of those little things that make me smile.  And I love that Tula Pink recommends using a length of each fabric used in the letters.  It’s a nice accent to the quilt.  I roll my binding onto old wooden spools and, based on a suggestion in a recent Superior Threads newsletter, placed it on my thread spindle while sewing it to the quilt.  (My Bernina has three spindles so there was room for the thread and for the binding.)  It worked beautifully.

LoveQuiltBindingCollage

So that’s one finish for January.  I still have a baby quilt and another special quilt to finish before the month’s out.  I head to Florida for business for most of this week and lose some sewing time.  I’ve gotten pretty greedy with my time and have begun to wonder if sewing is becoming an addiction.  Hmmm..do I really want to find a cure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Happy” Quilt

Just for the record, I’m blogging backwards.  This quilt was begun in January 2012 and finished in April.

I recently created a quilt for Victoria, a friend of my daughter.  They both are in art school and Victoria sent me a stool she had painted which I use in my sewing room.  I’m showing you two different angles to show off some of the detail and variety she put into this piece.  I decided to create a throw for her as a thank you.  And let me say, it got a little out of hand.  It finished closer to a twin size than a throw.

I discovered Jennifer Haynen’s Happy fabrics and they really reminded me of Victoria’s style.  I started creating half square triangles with the idea of piecing randomly.  It really gave me fits when it came time to laying out the pattern and I never really liked it until after I quilted it.  And let me tell you, I hate working on something that I don’t love.

This was the third quilt that I free motion quilted and the first quilt larger than a baby quilt. Below are some shots of detail within many of the blocks.  I stalked blogs like Angela Walters’ ‘Quiltingismytherapy’ and borrowed styles from Leah Day’s quilting design books and basically just played.  Quilting this was the most fun in the whole process.

 

The quilting went much better than I expected.  I have seen improvement with each quilt, so even though I can spot problems, I am really happy to have made such progress.  I’m quilting this on a Bernina 820 and I believe I used Isacord thread.  I really should have posted this sooner or made better notes.

This is the finished quilt.  You can see many of the broken patterns in this quilt and may understand why I wasn’t very happy with the way this was piecing.  The truth on this quilt is I had it laid out to look looked like broken circles…a lot like the top of the quilt.  I was working on a cutting mat on the floor and killing my back. I had the bright idea to pick up the mat and move the quilt.  You know what happened…the pieces went everywhere.  I never got it back like it was.  So this is what I had and it wasn’t until I got a black binding on this quilt that I really liked it.  Unfortunately, you can’t really see it in these photos.  It really helped the black pieces on the bottom to fall into place.

On a side note, I was really excited with some of the resulting practice sandwiches.  Because I had so many fabrics and I was playing with thread colors and designs, I had pieced scrap fabrics of many of my main fabrics to play with.  Basically I practiced designs I planed to use on certain fabrics to make sure they didn’t clash with fabric pattern.  And of course, I played with thread choices.  Below are two of the main sandwiches I ended up with.

The bottom right two photos show the front and back of the pieces I was working on.  I realized as I was working on these they would make a great iPad zip case.  Once I finished the quilt, these pieces were fully quilted.  I added fabric flowers onto the front, reinforced a piece of the yellow fabric with Dritz InnerFuse for a divider, inserted a zipper and sewed it all together.  I am really pleased with it.  It is always fun to make something useful out of those practice pieces.

What do you create from those practice sandwiches?