Two weeks ago I posted my first of two quilt finishes for the Stepping Stones Quilt Along that Jennifer Fulton, The Inquiring Quilter, hosted. This week is all about my second quilt finish from that quilt along.
The previous quilt was for one of my best friends, Ana. This quilt is for her mom, Cristal. In the last post I talked about how I met Ana and how we worked together. I really got to know Cristal well when I agreed to work with her and Ana at a local dermatology office. Working with those two women was an amazing experience, and I am so grateful they asked me to be a part of their team.
Working with Cristal and Ana was frosting on the cake compared to having them become a big part of my life. Cristal is one of the hardest working people I have ever met, and she is always striving to learn more, do more, and help others do their best as well. She is, hands down, the best manager I have ever worked for. She is a woman with a huge heart and a generous spirit and not only do I consider her a friend, I see her as my family. Whether she knows it or not, she’s stuck with me for life!
I chose to make her quilt from Timeless Treasures Tonga Batiks in Romance. I thought the colors were a good match to the decor in one of her rooms and they just felt like Cristal when I saw them. I was nervous using batiks, having heard that they are sometimes difficult to sew with. I made sure to use a smaller needle than usual and used Aurifil 50 wt thread and had no problems at all piecing the quilt.
I did have a bit more struggle with the quilting as my thread broke several times. I think it’s because I used 50 wt thread instead of 40 wt and my Juki TL-2200 QVP-S sit-down quilting machine loves the 40 wt. Still, only three or four thread breaks? That’s awesome compared to how many I used to get using my Brother PQ1500-S for the quilting! The only other trouble I had was hand stitching the binding down with a different thread brand. I usually use Aurifil for all my quilting, but had some left over Superior King Tut 40 wt variegated thread that matched the binding fabric better than any Aurifil I had on hand. This thread would not pull smoothly through the binding fabric at all, and it constantly tangled on me. I had to cut shorter lengths of it as it would start to shred if I sewed with the same length of thread for too long. It was a good thread for quilting when I used it before, but horrible for me when using it for hand stitching. I’ll be sticking with my favorite Aurifil from now on!
I designed the label and had it printed by Spoonflower on an 8″ sample square. I really like doing this, as I can make sure my labels won’t wash out after a while. I pieced it into the back so that it becomes a part of the quilt and is quilted over as well. The name for the quilt usually pops into my head while I start working with the fabrics. These fabrics remind me of a tranquil place, and since the pattern name is Stepping Stones, “Stepping Into Tranquility” just seemed to fit perfectly.
Cristal, you are part of the family I got to choose for myself. I love you and I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for all of the encouragement and love you give to me. I am blessed!
And for those who like quilt stats:
“Stepping Into Tranquility”
69″ x 80.5″
Stepping Stones by Jennifer Fulton
Timeless Treasures Tonga Batik precuts in Romance (Top)
Timeless Treasures Tonga Batik Reeds print from Romance (Backing)
Timeless Treasures Tonga Batik Stained Glass print from Romance(Binding)
Warm & Natural
Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt 2370
Quilted with Aurifil 50 wt 2325
Binding stitched with Superior King Tut 40 wt 927
Free-motion all over swirls
May 17, 2016