Friday, June 7, 2013

Ready for Tommy

I finished the binding on Tommy's quilt late last night. But of course, this: 


happened in about the last six inches. I think the next time I bind a quilt, I'm going to get smart and put a bandaid over that thumb before I even start. I don't think I've ever bound a quilt without jabbing my needle right there at least once. In fact, do I even see scar tissue in this picture? 

Anyway, in a very uncharacteristic move, I've completed this quilt a full week before I had to since Tommy won't be here until next weekend. I'm loving this quilt!


I love the design, I love the colors, I love the feel of it. I quilted it in an all over meandering pattern and that gives it such a different feel from my straight line quilted quilts. It feels sturdier, heavier. I love it, and can't stop touching it!

So, did you pick up on anything? Did you notice how very calmly and casually I just mentioned that I have FREE MOTION QUILTED MY VERY FIRST QUILT!!! Yeah, I couldn't remain calm forever. In my last post, Malini from My Quilting Journey suggested I check out Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project. So I did. She gives lots of helpful tips and one of the first things she says is if you want to learn how to stipple, just stipple a large quilt. You'll be good by the end. So my thought process changed from, "I have to find the time  to practice & waste a bunch of fabric and batting until I'm good enough to quilt an actual quilt" to "just do it." So I did. 

Badly. Huge variation in stitch length, lots of "eyelashes" on the back, lots of jerky movements and times when I cross over previous stitching. But I did it. And I do think I finished better than I started. And, maybe the most important part, I really, really enjoyed it. I'll show you some of it, certainly not the worst of it:


A real quilter would cringe, but I'm very, very proud. The only thing I'm disappointed in is that in my excitement, I failed to start in the center. This caused some minor puckering in the center of the quilt. It hasn't been washed yet, so I'm hoping it will be less noticeable in the final product. Such a basic rule of quilting - I'm upset with myself for failing to remember it. 


But, I'm on my way to learning a fun new skill, and I've created my first pattern as well. Overall, a success!

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series. It seems she was also doing some late night stitching this week:) 



10 comments:

  1. omg! what a beautiful, fascinating quilt, and your own design/pattern? that's awesome. and don't worry about the pucker . . . a washing will work miracles.

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  2. The quilt is really lovely! Did you come up with the pattern yourself? I've been wanting to make a helix-type quilt for a while, but haven't sat down to figure it out. I bet the pucker won't be noticeable after a wash, in fact I hadn't noticed it till the second picture where you pointed it out!! Love the colours you chose :)

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  3. That's exactly what I did on my first big quilt! I stippled the whole thing, and got better as I went. But now, nearly 4 years later, I see the big stitches and mistakes, and stitches that are already coming out (my god that quilt has been through quilt hell and it is still in pretty good condition!), but I still love it! My husband loves it too--it's on our bed still. I didn't start in the center either. By my definition you ARE a real quilter! And your quilt design is fantastic!

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  4. Amazing! Great pattern; I've never seen that one before. Great color combinations.

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  5. Lol! This is how my meander looks too because it's so few and far between for my quilts. Good for you and it looks great!

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  6. Congratulations on FMQ'ing your first quilt. I have watched Leah Day and well and am working on improving my technique this year. I will say that I have noticed improvement every time I quilt something. And I love your quilt. It's beautiful!

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  7. I LOVE your quilt!!!! Isn't the meander quilting really fun to do? I do it on my regular size machine & it is so fun!!! The faster you push the gas pedal the easier it is to control. I really like to throw in some hearts every once in a while. You make a swoop into a kind of m then at the end of the m go down into a v & connect that to the 1st part of the m and swoop out. Practice it on paper first - it is really easy.

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  8. This quilt is wonderful! Don't be so hard on yourself. You did a great job stippling! I too FMQ on a regular machine and do my best to accept what I perceive as imperfections. The recipients never seem to notice and appreciate the time and love that you put into the quilt from start to finish. Keep quilting!

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  9. Love!! Seriously! Fabulous pattern! Did you make this yourself? You mentioned casually that you created a pattern if this is it you should write up a pattern or tutorial or something. Awesome job on the FMQing too. I'm new to it as well and I have a practice quilt that I'm having a lot of fun on. They don't look perfect at all but that's not the point.

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  10. Great job! FMQ seems to be one of those things you just dive into and get better along the way. It's such a fun process too (even if the stitches aren't consistent and the eyelashes won't go away!)

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