It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about quilts I’ve made, but I wanted to actually finish them first. <sighs dramatically> I sometimes take a long time to get them completely done.
Here’s one I made for the quilt ministry at my former church (and this one got finished reasonably quickly):
I’ve made one like this before, but with an additional border. This will be used as a baptism quilt for a baby. The sheep block is a design from Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt.
I confess this next one is almost done. It’s a comfort quilt for the same church ministry, usually given to a senior citizen facing a challenge. I’ve been working on it about a year. It’s been way more tedious than I ever expected. I saw a video on YouTube that showed how to put a Dresden plate together easily by cutting the pieces with a special ruler. I went out and bought the ruler and couldn’t wait to try it. The plates went together easily as advertised.
One block done!
But I hand-appliquéd them onto the background. Next time I’m going to learn how to use the appliqué stitch on my sewing machine.
Then I figured out a way to stitch-in-the-ditch machine-quilt the plates. If it makes any sense, I planned to outline every other blade and travel to the next blade a short distance around the center so that I could do each block in one long continue path with only one beginning and end. However, when I started to sew, I zoned out and quilted all the way around the outside of the first plate. Now, I should have just pulled it out and started over, but I couldn’t bear to do that. So I decided to quilt around every other blade and stop when I got back to the edge. I did it the same way for each of the four large blocks. That mean that I had 10 extra beginnings and 10 extra ends–20 extra ends of thread to bury–for each block. It’s not hard, it’s just time consuming, and my arthritic fingers are not so nimble knotting thread and re-threading needles any more.
Done! (Well, almost.)
The final quilt took the longest time to finish. I completed the top at least ten years ago. Then we upgraded from a full bed to a queen, so I redid the borders. Then it sat while I watched many videos about how to quilt a large quilt on a conventional sewing machine. They say it can be done, but I didn’t know where I was even going to lay out the quilt to sandwich the layers. I don’t have any big tables, and besides, I don’t have the floor space.
Finally I decided to treat myself to a professional quilting job. Through the Arizona Quilt Guild website, I found local quilter Cindy Stohn. Working with her was a dream come true.
Cindy sent me this photo of the quilt on the frame.
She asked me what I had in mind for this quilt, sort of a scrappy Irish chain. I knew I wanted an overall pattern, but exactly what I had no clue. Instead of overwhelming me with everything her long-arm machine was capable of, she showed me maybe half a dozen designs she thought would complement the quilt. I chose this swirly design, but really, any of the ones she showed me would have been awesome.
Photo by Cindy Stohn
Then she asked me my preference of thread color. I wanted a blue that would be visible but not detract from the beautiful fabrics. I didn’t want it to contrast sharply. She nodded and grabbed a box of thread cones that must have had 50 different shades of blue. She suggested using a different shade for the backside (a small blue and black checked flannel). Instead of making me pick, she pulled out several shades she thought would work, and honestly, every one gave it a totally different feel. She kept substituting and refining the choices, and I really think she came up with the perfect colors.
Cindy’s quilting really enhanced my quilt. What a wonderful job she did!
Next up: a three-dimensional pinwheel quilt for the Choices Pregnancy Center, through the church’s quilt ministry:
I’ll post more pictures when it’s done. Don’t hold your breath.