I am pleased to report that the modern quilt I've been making (for too long) is done. done. DONE!!!
In case you couldn't tell, I'm super excited about it. Super. Excited.
I love it. I think it's perfectly imperfect, hand made by mom (me!), to be loved up now, and handed down later. It's my first time making a modern quilt design. I pieced together the front using hand cut pieces of fabric that I then sewed in strips. All those fabrics together make me so happy.
I'm still in the madly in love with it phase of a completed project ;).
Adding this one to the quilts-I've-made-for-our-family pile feels great.
It's been a long time coming, that's for sure. This year I'm really wanting to finish up a lot of long ago started projects, and this one is a huge check in the finished column for me!
As you can tell by my dedication stitching above, I machine pieced the quilt top and bottom back in 2013. Here's one previous post on it.
At that point, after creating the top and bottom pieces (made up patterns in my head), then pinning the batting between, I did a lot of thinking about how I wanted to proceed; whether to hand quilt it (sewing the three layers together) or machine quilt it. I have made quilts before but never hand quilting any of them. After a lot of thinking (and even asking on IG), I knew that the truth was I wanted to hand quilt it, but was sort of dreading it. I began to work on it a little, but it got put to the side eventually and remained there until I was sick recently.
As I lay there, sick in my bed day after day, it suddenly felt like the perfect time to hand quilt. It was quiet, and close, and clean, and I could have it on top of me keeping me warm as I worked. I made a lot of progress. As I've been getting better, I've been inching closer to finished one long (7.5 ft) row at a time.
This weekend the "I must finish it" obsession kicked into overdrive. I sometimes stitched it on the floor, but mostly stitched with it on my lap. I didn't use a loom.
Stitch by stitch with that tiny needle I went along...it's so tiny it's hard to see there in the "ditch" as stitchers say. See it?
You can see above on the far right side I only had about 5 more to go. As I get to the end of a big project like this, I keep counting and recounting how many more.
I didn't measure, just eyeballed it. I figured since I was hand quilting it, the imperfection was part of it's charm.
Finally, this weekend the handquilting was done. Time to square it up and bind it then.
I decided to use a vintage binding that I had been hoarding for years. That pretty checked pink. Oh, and I also decided to do a couple of machine stitches over my hand quilting for good measure. I just did this on the two ends, in case the knots that were on the end were somehow cut in the squaring up. I have no idea if it will actually help, but it couldn't hurt, so I did it.
Seriously, how sweet is that binding?!? The fact that it was ready made was an extra plus. I could feel my patience for this project waning...if I had to make my own binding, I might have set it down again...I was too close to finished for that!
Late last night I finished hand stitching the binding edge and could not wait to get up and wash it this morning. Washing a finished quilt is my favorite step. It totally becomes a quilt at that stage. (Pre wash above, washed below)
Well, you might not be able to tell from the photos, but if you quilt, you know what I mean.
It just gets softer and a little bumpy from shrinking a little.
Even though I'd hand embroidered on the back, I couldn't resist adding one of my labels on the front, since I already have them...(labels bought here).
And now I just want to stare at it and touch it, turning it over and around, examining all the different combinations. Do you ever do that? Keep looking at something you've made that you like? I might even bring it in the car with me as I drive to the baseball game, haha!
I know, I have issues.
Ok, I am no quilting expert, but here's what I used:
*I treasure this book and find it endlessly inspring.
When I want to know something (like how best to start your thread when hand quilting), I first google it. I don't mind doing things "wrong" and making up a method as I go. That's what works for me. But, I know there are lots of quilting courses on the internet and also these books look fun and informative to me:
I think that covers it!?!
Oh! one more- I LOVE my new black cutting mat. It's thicker than the green standard and it's black. I have always found the green to be so displeasing. I wish they'd come in white or grey even.