Monday, November 3, 2014

UFO Wallhanging Done

I managed to complete the quilting and binding on the Christmas Wreath wallhanging in the last couple of days.  I did post earlier on how I was going to quilt this one, but it didn't quite work out that way.  I was planning to do some large and small stippling, but the machines where not cooperating (mainly due to the multiple pieced backing)!  So I ended up just doing some very simple straight line quilting.  I am going to show you the finished pictures, and then I am going to talk about "quilting the quilt".

Here is the finished wallhanging.  I will be hanging in in my little office area (actually it is a corner in my living room) over the holidays.  I am actually thinking of taking a red permanent marker and writing "Merry Christmas" in the center of the wreath, but as I am looking at it now in the picture, I might just leave it empty.

This is a close up to a corner showing the simple straight stitching I did in each inside corner.

If you enlarge the picture, you can see I "X'd" through all the green part of the wreath, and I did just an inside shadowing on the red ribbon part.

The border corners, I just kept stitching from the borders out to the square, and then I just stitched from corner to corner one time to do a different look for these outside corners.

The project kits that came form the Main Street Cotton Shop always included more fabric than actually needed to complete the project, so this time I stitched up all the pieces into a very scrappy backing.  Most other times, I just put the extra fabric in a scrap basket for use later.

When I looked at the blank canvas of the wallhanging top, I pulled out the book that had the pattern in it to see how it was quilted. As you can see, the quilting is quite exquisite, and very beautiful.  It looked so perfect, I almost put the project away agin, because I felt, there was no way I could make mine look even close to this one.  But, I am determined to complete the very long list of UFO's, and went ahead and quilted it, and feel okay about the finished project.

All of us can make the blocks, complete the tops, but fall short in completing the project because we come up short when it comes to doing the quilting.  Quilters tend to be perfectionists and because of that, we tend not do do the quilting.  It is the hardest part of the process, and most of us don't have a long arm machine to make this part easier.  

I have spent hours on the internet, pouring over books and magazines, and standing in awe at the samples at local quilt shops at the amazing quilting done on an array of pieces.  They are truly pieces of art, done by true artists.  Not everyone can be a true artist, most people just paint.  

Quilters that are true artists have set the bar so high for most quilters, that we don't even try because we know that our work will not measure up to what we see on average.  And by not even trying, we loose out on the joy of completing projects, and accepting our work as our own and being able to use what we make. 

It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with my work.  I am the first to admit, it is not even close to perfect!  I realized this last year, that I don't want to compete in State Fairs, I don't need to win a ribbon at a quilt guild, and I am not trying to make a living on my quilting.  I also realized that I don't want something so perfect that it looks like it was manufactured in a factory.  Looking in the the history of quilting, none of those quilts were perfect, nor were they so intricately quilted as they are today.  I was originally drawn to quilting because I like the simple pioneer way of life, and I want my quilts to reflect that draw.  

My suggestion to all and any of you who are hesitant to quilt, go for it.  Get some projects done.  You will be thrilled you did.  It is easiest to start small, like a wallhanging or a table runner.  But if you want to start bigger,  try one of your first quilt tops that might have a few errors in construction and practice.  Then when done, you can use it for a picnic quilt, or a camp trailer quilt, or in a spare room.  Be like the Nike motto, "Just Do It!"

Here is a couple of completes that might help you get started:

This was one of my first local quilt shop Saturday Samplers that I did, and quilted.  I sleep under it every night, keeps me warm, and makes me very happy.  Every time I wash the bed and put on this quilt, I run my hand over the top and smile.  I just love to feel quilting.

The next two pictures show a close up of a couple of blocks and how I chose to quilt not only the blocks but the sashing.

This is the backing, and yes it is fabric that was 108" wide, so it made it easier to quilt.  Not like the wreath wallhanging above, the pieced backing makes it harder to stitch because of all the seams that the pressure foot has to move over.  That was the main reason stippling didn't work.

The most outer border has cross hatching.

This print has stars in it's pattern, so I drew out some stars and quilted them throughout the borders.  Large on the bigger border and smaller on the inner smaller border.

I hope this help you think of ways to do some quilting on your projects.  Remember "Just Do Some Quilting".


1 comment:

Nrhaller said...

I found your blog through Bonnie Hunter's Christmas Link-Up and have been reading a lot of your posts since then. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog post. You are so right about we quilters not thinking we can do justice to the "quilting" part of the job. I really like your attitude about the quilting. Just do it! I have made two flimsies (tops) and not quilted them. First of al, the first quilt top I ever did, the fabric although it was good fabric from a designer, frayed like crazy, and the seams kept getting smaller. I also did not know much about matching seams by pressing a certain way, so many seams had fabric pressed one way for the one side, but the same seam was pressed the opposite way for the other side. So I was not certain what to do about all that with the quilting, but I also would not want to send it to a long arm quilter since those problems existed. Anyway, this Christmas, I made a snowman table runner for my niece. It turned out so beautiful and I was so happy with it. I immediately quilted it myself. I used my walking foot and quilted diagonally through the squares for the middle of the table runner, skipping over the snowflake appliqués.then I did the same going the other way, making an X through the blue squares, but did a 1/4 inch echo inside the white squares. For the ends which had large snowmen appliquéd to the centers, I echoed around and around the snowmen, still using my walking foot, and it turned out so great! I was so thrilled, and because of it, I can hardly wait to do another table runner or wall hanging, and am sure I'll eventually be ready to do the first to tops I've yet to quilt. Thanks for this post. I hope lots of other quilters,especially beginning quilters, will read this.
Rae (