My first Friday Finish post for 2016. And January is not even over yet! I am so excited!
The quilt looks wonky in the pictures because of the wind, and the quilt was too long for my fence. Would have been nice had I thought to just drape it over the fence rather than use those dang hangers.
I started the Grungy Windows quilt in the summer of 2015. This was a pattern tutorial I created to use up charm pack and jelly roll precuts. You can find the tutorial HERE. I only had enough time to piece the quilt and write the tutorial over summer vacation. I recently had time to finish sewing the backing and baste, quilt, and bind it for a quilt finish. This quilt has been a blast to make from beginning to end!
I was a little torn on how to quilt this quilt. It took me a couple of months before I realized that I should look at this quilt as an opportunity to practice my free-motion quilting skills. The quilt was going to stay with me (I ended up giving it to my daughter), so I freed myself from any stress of not making it “perfect”. My mental record player kept telling me that if I had thread breaks, I was going to rethread and move on. If there were wobbles, then no unpicking… move on. If I quilted myself into a corner (and boy did I ever… a bazillion times), then find another way out, even if it wasn’t perfect, and move on. And I actually listened to myself and did just that!
I chose to quilt a different motif/quilting pattern in each block. I had 6 blocks in each row, and I had 8 rows. Which equaled 48 different motifs. I did fairly well for half of the quilt, but then quickly ran out of my standard ideas. I grabbed all of my quilting books and whenever I ran out of quilting ideas (often), I’d open them up and look for some inspiration. After coming up with a different motif, I used my huge free-motion quilting journal to practice drawing before quilting. I scribbled over at least 25 pages. I struggled coming up with a plan for the last few blocks, but I was able to have a different pattern in each block. Some were the same motif done in a varied way, but I still counted them as a unique blocks.
My free-motion quilting machine is a Juki TL 2200 QVP-S (her name is Josie!), which is a long arm head set into a sit-down table. I wound 5 size M bobbins for my Juki, with 40 wt Aurifil in 2021. Those bobbins are huge, and I wound them three times while quilting this quilt! I started with a fresh cone of Aurifil, and I still ended up with some left over. I gotta tell you, Josie the Juki LOVES Aurifil.
So not only did I have the fantastic experience of free-motion quilting in a humongous harp space, I also had very few thread breaks, and not much lint to clean up between bobbin changes. I should admit that the thread breaks came from my over exuberance during free motion quilting. Specifically, when I would be going one direction and quite abruptly, and forcefully, switch direction. Yeah, it was bad jerky movements and inexperience that led to the breakage. I really need to work on coordinating machine speed with moving the quilt around. I also had a difficult time remembering to slow down when coming to a point or a turn in my quilting. So I have some thread blobs on the back due to my not slowing down and quilting in the same spot for too long. Definitely need more practice in that area.
Ok, now on to all the quilt patterns! My favorite patterns on the top left of the quilt are the puzzle block, the swirly flourish block, the triangular petal flower block, and the hearts block.
My favorite on the top right are the two on the top; the leaf block and the daisy block. I also enjoyed making the clamshell block.
In the middle left of the quilt my favorite two blocks were the holly leaf block (I actually had that idea on my own! Although I’m sure it’s not new, but it felt new to me), and the swirl & leaf block. They are the very top- and middle-left blocks on the edge of the quilt.
I like almost every block on the middle right of the quilt. The flame looking feather in a center block, the clam feather, the swirl feather, the hook swirl, and my very favorite was the orange peel block. That one was a real challenge to free-motion quilt, but I was so happy that I was able to do a half-decent job with that one!
The bottom two pictures of the quilt were taken in different lighting, so they will look different than the other pictures. My favorite block on the bottom left is the swirl flower. That one was a lot of fun to quilt, and it makes it look so fancy!
I liked making every single block on the bottom right. The echo triangle was challenging trying to get the middle to look right when echoing back out. I liked the vine leaf, I think that is a great border pattern. The triple loop/flower-ish looking pattern was an easy and fun block to make too. All in all, I had a fantastic time quilting and trying out new patterns!
This quilt was the first opportunity for me to use the Spoonflower quilt labels I designed and ordered last year. I like that it matches the backing!
And after a morning of trying to take decent pictures, fighting the wind, the glare, the quilt dragging the ground and attracting all the teeny tiny fallen flower petals from a nearby bush, I finally washed, dried it and gave the quilt to my daughter who promptly snuggled under it with a book. And THAT RIGHT THERE is why I quilt!
63″ x 84″
10.5″ block; Disappearing 9-patch with solid border
Moda Grunge charm packs and Kona Snow jelly rolls (Top)
Various Kona Cotton solids and left over quilt blocks (Backing)
Oasis print from Amy Butler’s Hapi (Binding)
Warm & White
Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt 2605
Quilted with Aurifil 40 wt 2021
Binding stitched with Aurifil 40 wt 4654
Various free-motion quilting designs
January 24, 2016