Here is the reason I haven’t made many entries on my blog in the past week. I‘ve been working on a special gift for my brother and his new bride. My goal was to get this queen size quilt complete by Christmas so they would have it for the New York winter. Well it’s been especially cold already this year so I know they can use it.
Here’s what the finished quilt looks like on our reproduction rope bed. It looks pretty good I must say, almost good enough to keep! But no, it’s meant to be a gift.
Here’s a close up of the fabric in rust and cranberry earth tones mixed with medium blues, the sky tones. I think it has a nice balance. This quilt top was designed by Donna V. Boozenny, my mother in law. Donna left it to me along with many other quilts in various stages of completion when she passed away over 2 years ago. She was an amazing artist and I am proud to carry on the quilt tradition for our family. Donna won many awards in the 1980’s for her quilts at the Marin County fair in California.
I’ve been sewing since childhood but only made a couple of quilts before this, all crib size. So taking on this larger piece was an interesting learning process. Donna said she always used two layers of batting. I only used one and I am glad I did for this first large machine quilting project. Man, the quilt is heavy, about 12 pounds! I started without a walking foot and after about 1/3 of the way decided to go ahead and get one. What a difference! I recommend the walking foot for projects like this. And I learned that you need the right thread. I stitched about 5 lines with some crappy old thread and was almost in tears. Luckily there is a quilt shop in my town, Picket Fence Quilts. They had just the right thread, color and quality, and great advice too.
I searched the internet to find out how to attach the self made binding and how to get the mitered corners to work out. This article got me there. I think my standards are pretty high on the mitered corners. I would say 3 of my corners are really nice. It definitely takes a bit of practice. The main thing for this quilt is to get the edges protected because the quilt top was probably pieced in the early 1990’s and the fabrics are at least that old.
Finally, I wanted a special label for this quilt that would celebrate the gift to the newlyweds. I’m really inspired by the Quilt Otaku blog. She had a perfect tip for labeling the quilt with a pigma marker. In order to see the markings on the fabric I wrote on the wrong side of the print. Then I added my own flair with a wavy edge stitch. I think it came out great. I’ll be able to rest when I know the package has arrived safe and sound. It sure feels good to complete a project this big and now I can move on to other holiday activities with a load off!