Monday, December 21, 2015

Design Wall Monday--a finish to share

A bit late, but I do have a finish to celebrate for DWM!  I finally got all the quilting done on the Christmas Quilt and it is ready to snuggle under on the couch.
I had to bump up the contrast to get the border to show as green and not black due to the nighttime shot, but here is the throw fresh off the sewing machine. 
 The back is pieced to keep the script print right side up :) 


Although initially I didn't think I really liked it, I persevered with the circles in the pieced blocks and most of them got a holly leaf detail in the center.  This was a very easy free motion design to do.  I felt the circles made the quilting a bit more modern.
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I repeated the holly leaves but added berries in the border, and used green thread to keep the focus on the center blocks and not interrupt the dark green dotted print.  Desiring to use the green dot for the binding as well but having limited amount, the dreaded MATH dragon raised its head.

I had little of this red candy cane print that I used for the cornerstones and figured I had just enough of it to use on the corners.  I cut 12 inch sections of the red print at 2.5"wide and ironed them in half lengthwise like the other binding pieces.  I folded the red print binding segments in half and aligned the folded edge with the raw edge of my quilt top and pinned it in place.  Then I sewed the green dot  binding pieces to the free ends of the red print using a straight seam instead of a diagonal, measuring and cutting the green print binding only to proper length.
You can see in this picture where I joined the red print to the green print binding.  This procedure I did one at a time as I approached the corners while attaching the binding to the quilt sandwich.  I had to make a couple of straight joins in the green dot binding but they are really invisible.

This worked out perfectly and each corner detail measured the same.  It is so great when an idea and a sketch come together just the way one planned!  Unfortunately, when I washed the quilt for the first time, despite using a color catcher cloth, some of the red and green prints in the blocks ran--obviously a sign of not having been prewashed. My practice is to always wash all my fabrics before cutting and sewing, and certainly for any blocks that I might swap.  I'm sure more of this will wash out in subsequent laundering--this is a quilt for me and I'm not particularly concerned.  These blocks have been waiting to become a quilt for about 8 years.  So happy they are a real quilt finally.

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Quilting

This Christmas Quilt got more attention, first with the very tedious stitch in the ditch which takes so long and barely shows on the front.  I'm not a perfectionist and this quilt is for me, so there was very little ripping involved--only for big mistakes! 


  Then I started in on the sashing and cornerstones. 






I free-motion stitched a sort of candy cane wiggle in the sashing and holly leaves in the cornerstones, all in white thread. This took a lot longer than I estimated, partly due to using a thicker thread and having to wind bobbins frequently.  Plus breaking two needles.   I had already decided just to outline any of the appliqued shapes, so that was the next task, fairly quickly accomplished.  While doing the boring quilting, I came up with the decision to treat all the pieced blocks with a simple circle of quilting.  I traced around a small plate on few of the blocks.



I'm not sure I like it.  I may need to add some stippling to the outside of the circle and then stitch in the ditch around the center square. 

The quilt will rest while I decide, and decorate the Christmas tree, which has remained strung only with lights for two days.  We went to Costco on Friday night because they had $46 Noble Fir trees, meeting our DD Erica there. We quickly found out why they are that low price when we saw the trees, completely bound in twine and leaning against a trailer.  No, you are not allowed to open the trees.  "It's kind of like gambling", the attendant told our daughter before we got there.  No thanks, I don't like the roulette version of selecting a tree! So off to Home Depot and the fun of picking out a favorite and comparing it to the others' favorites. Mission accomplished. 

In other news, grandson Cove's early Christmas present arrived and his mom and I put it together after he went to sleep.  I got this picture the next morning upon request.  Strapped in!   He had his first trip to Disneyland yesterday and I can't wait to see what he has to say about it :)