Monthly Archives: February 2015

12 Quilts – Number 1

Okay, of the twelve quilts I plan on finishing this year, here’s the first one – the Wizard quilt (I know, really creative name, right?)

Kind-of hard to photograph...

Kind-of hard to photograph…

This quilt is from a kit that I bought probably at least a decade ago (yikes!). I followed the pattern, except for a little re-arranging of the final block layout.

Original pattern

Original pattern

Even if I didn’t remember buying it so long ago, I’d know it was an old quilting purchase by the backing fabric. In my earlier years of quilting, I would always buy large pieces of fabric for quilt backings, so the back would be all the same fabric. In more recent years, I try to piece the backing together using any leftover fabric from the top and whatever else I can find to match in my fabric stash. Does anybody else do this? Maybe I’m just weird. It actually feels a little weird now to have a quilt backing be out of only one fabric. Excepting baby quilts, which are usually small enough that I can find a single piece of stash fabric for backing.

Pegasus backing fabric

Pegasus backing fabric

I finished the quilt top during a really productive weekend retreat two years ago, put it aside for a while, and then at the same retreat this past fall I started quilting it. Finally got around to finishing it last month. And let me just say that quilting retreats are one of the best things in the world. I go on one every Fall with a group of women from my quilt guild, and it’s an absolute blast. Not to mention that I can cram an insane amount of sewing into a weekend where I don’t have to cook, clean, or take care of anybody or anything else. Such luxury!

Embroidered label

Embroidered label, still pinned on

Aside from the fabric, which I love (and really, it’s so much prettier in person), my favorite thing about this is the quilting. The whole thing is quilted in a spiral with my walking foot.

Spiral quilting

Spiral quilting

It was so easy, and sort-of relaxing to do. And it looks so finished! I don’t know how else to describe it. But I’m thrilled with the quilt. The technique is from a Craftsy class about quilting with your walking foot. To be honest, I still haven’t finished watching the class. I got far enough into it for the spiral design, and then promptly stopped watching so I could go try it out. Awesome, awesome way to quilt something, especially a larger quilt. This one, for reference, is about 64 inches square.

Spiral quilting and wonky log cabin blocks

Spiral quilting and wonky log cabin blocks

The one thing I will mention though, is that the quilt top can shift a bit during quilting. Even though I had the whole thing pinned pretty heavily (using those bent quilting safety pins), the top still shifted a bit. Had I left a generous amount of batting and backing around the edge of the top this wouldn’t have been an issue. As it was, I ended up having to add additional little triangles of backing at each of the corners before finishing the quilting.

Backing addition

Backing addition

I’m probably not explaining this very well. Imagine you have two squares of paper on top of each other. Twist the top square just a little and suddenly the corners of the top square are hanging off the edges of the bottom square, just a little. If you look closely at the back, you can see the seams where I had to add in the extra little piece at each corner.

See? Right there...

See? Right there…

Thankfully, it was a pretty easy fix. I plan on experimenting with this technique some more, so next time I’ll just allow for some extra batting and backing around the edges.

I smile every time I look at this quilt. I can’t even describe how happy I am to have it finished. And it feels especially nice to have made such a big start on my quilting goal for the year.

Anybody else out there making a good start on goals for the year?

Goals

Back in January, like most of the rest of the world, I started thinking about the new year and what I wanted to accomplish. Let’s just say it’s a long list, like usual. And not necessarily worth posting anywhere. But as I’ve actually made some progress on one of my goals, I thought I ought to at least put it out there to share.

I’m going to finish twelve quilts this year.

Yup. Twelve. Actually, it shouldn’t be that hard. It’s only February and I’ve already finished three. Maybe I should actually push myself and revise that number up a little. Maybe.

Note that I said “finish” and not “make” or “start and finish”. Really the main thing that makes this a fully achievable goal is that I have a pile of completed quilt tops waiting in my studio, and that I’m counting small wall hangings and baby quilts just as equally as bed quilts. I’m really bad about piecing a quilt top and then never actually quilting it. So, this goal is my attempt to clean out my studio a little bit, and get more into the habit of finishing my quilts all the way.

I’ve got to take photos of the quilts finished so far, but here’s a little preview of the first one. More to come soon!

Spiral quilting and wonky log cabin blocks

Spiral quilting and wonky log cabin blocks