Friday, March 22, 2013

another donation quilt finished (almost)

After a quick start on this final donation quilt from the crate, I became distracted (oh look!  a dust mote!) by family photos and my on-going genealogy project.

But finally, I put my nose to the grindstone and finished the quilting today.  It doesn't have binding yet .. only because I don't think I have a good candidate for that.

This started out in 2011 as a mock-up for a Jane Austen quilt.  As such, I was more concerned about how to match up the diamonds across the sashing rather than making a "real" quilt.  So, I just kinda grabbed the fabric I had on hand that would do the job .. which was white sashing and muslin setting triangles.   Not exactly the most scintillating choices in the world.

But, the funny thing is .. the more I looked at it, the more I liked it.  :-)  So, I put some actual *thought* into finding border fabrics to bring it up to a useable size.  Then, it got put into the crate and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Until now.  :-)   It's finally quilted .. oh, hooray! 

I didn't have enough batting in one piece to use, but I did have a bunch of smaller pieces.  So, I Frankensteined them together and it worked out rather well.

The backing is a lovely, soft, butter yellow flannel.  (I think this fabric contributed to some "issues".)

I loaded it on Lizzie and decided to stitch in the ditch around each and every diamond, as well as the perimeter of the white sashing.  I figured this would stabilize the entire top.  Then I'd stitch in the ditch around the inner border.  And as I advanced the quilt, I stitched down the outer raw edge to secure them, as I always do.

My thinking was that when I got to the end of the top and stitched the bottom edge, I could then release that rail and only have one layer to work with.  I could roll that one layer back and forth to get the rest of the quilting done.

I *KNOW* that I've read of others using this technique.  I'm almost sure that I've done it before.  But this time?  Problems. 

The upper half was no problem ... everything was tensioned nicely and the stitch in the ditch was progressing well.  However, once I got to the bottom half, I realized that the top was unduly "poofing up".  What the heck??  It took me some effort to quilt that without it looking ugly.

It wasn't until I had advanced the quilted part on the take-up rail that I saw there was a horrendous, ginormous horizontal tuck in the backing.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Just let me thunk my head on the wall. Repeatedly.  But other than that tuck, the quilting from the back looks pretty nice!

I have absolutely no frickin' idea how that tuck got there, much less the "poofiness" in the top.  The tuck *is* quilted down rather nicely  but ::sigh::  it's still there.  Yuck.  Dang .. and it seemed to be going quite well.  :-(

I quilted a feathered wreath with curved cross-hatching basketweave in the center.   I saw a picture of a very similar design somewhere/someplace.  Their version was nicer than mine.  :-)  I obviously need more practice on this curved cross-hatching *and* basketweave thing.

All the stitch in the ditch made the white sashing puff up very nicely .. I really do like the effect.

The striped border got widely spaced straight lines that disappear into the printed stripes.  I really hadn't a clue what to do on this fabric.  In retrospect, perhaps I should have continued the diagonal lines from the white sashing, but I wasn't sure how the diagonal quilting lines would look against the striped fabric. 

I put feathers in the setting triangles and feathers in the outer border.  Because the border fabric is a print, you can't see the feathers too well, but by this point, this was really the easiest thing I could think of doing to finish the quilt. 

Once I find some binding fabric, I'll get the label & the binding on and pop it into the washer/dryer.

Then all the donation quilts that I've been holding onto will be given to the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, which is a local one-up charitable organization that I like to support.  When they're gone, that will open a nice, big area in my sewing room.    Current status to the contrary, I really *do* like limiting the visual clutter.  (go ahead and chuckle .. y'all know what I mean!)

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