Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Third Quarter Finish!!

One down, seven to do!! 
My list for the 2015 Finish Along is HERE.
As I was working on this quilt, I was reminded of my first "major" machine quilting effort.  I had been quilting by machine for over 10 years, but I decided to enter a local quilt show so I needed to do an extra special good job -- no more "this is just practice"!! 
As I tried in vain to move around the appliques carefully and retrace these curly-ques, I made a decision!  It looked whimsical but not perfect.  As always, I was in a time crunch, no time to have a meltdown about lack of skill.  
Solution??  Ever since I have described my machine quilting style as "whimsical". 
Identifying that aspect of my style released me from all the pressure of imitating the style of more detail oriented, skilled long-arm machine quilters. 
So I engaged in a little whimsy to quilt all the flowers in this quilt.  I took some photos while quilting the borders to share with you.
I meandered along the borders and after some experimentation discovered it was best to approach each cluster at the base of one of the leaves.  From there, I traced around the outside edge of the flower (I'm much better at that these days).
Next, I zig-zagged around the "petal" area of the flower -- random whimsy! 
And at some point when I was against the center of the flower, I outlined it. 
Arriving back at the outside edge of the flower and the base of a leaf, I then outlined the leaves and echoed them.  From here, I continued to meander through the border to the next cluster.  An expert could tell where I started working on the border because my "design" evolved a bit as I progressed, but the quilt isn't for an expert. 
I've used a "wonky" diamond cable many times as it eliminates the need to calculate the "lowest common denominator" of different border lengths.  Since acquiring a "Fine Line" Quilter's Ruler and my ruler foot, it's so easy.  Just plop the ruler down and follow it!!
I go all the way around the quilt doing one side and then the other, then come back and echo the first lines twice.  That safety pin is to remind me that I have to tie threads off there. 
Six trips around the last border and the quilting is finished!!  Gasp!!  Just in the nick of time, too.  It's hard to see in the picture but that is the end of the thread I have in my fingers.  Another 12" and I would have been irritated!!
Isn't the backing wonderful?  Oddly, I had picked out the backing for this quilt (an old sample from my shop) as I was closing in 2005.  It was only as I was binding the quilt that I realized just how perfect it was for this quilt.
The gal who now owns the quilt is a dear friend of my daughter.  We were very sorry to see her move out of our town and church but so happy to be able to send her off with a memento to celebrate the friendship we hope will survive the distance.
On to the next quilting task.  It's layered, the thread is chosen, the quilting ideas are flowing!!
Mary Huey


  1. Congratulations on your finish! How lucky to have just enough thread to complete your quilt. :-)

    1. I was stunned when I looked over and saw the empty spool -- that's closer than I like to cut things!!

  2. I think you did a great job quilting this quilt. My approach is more whimsical also. It is perfect because it is imperfect.

    1. Thanks, Shasta -- it certainly makes it easier to accept the "imperfections" and enjoy the quilting process!

  3. Whimsical, wonky and organic are great words to have in our quilting, right?

  4. Lovely quilt...your quilting is beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Visiting as a member of the official 2015 Finish-Along cheerleading squad