Friday, January 31, 2014

long strips in happy spring colors

For my granddaughter, due March 12.

First photo below is the pieced quilt top before layering it with batting and backing. I was inspired by this quilt by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts to sew strips of fabric. I knew I wanted olive green, turquoise and other lively colors, and I wanted them to seem random and eclectic, though cohesive. It took me quite a while to study Rita's quilt to understand that the reason the spectrum of colors and fabrics works together is that each fabric is analogous to the one next to it. In mine, except for the solid olive green and turquoise in the bottom half, each fabric also has a color that is in the fabric next to it, the way Rita designed hers.

You can see that the quilt is not as small as a baby size, but not as large as a twin.

quilt front;
finished size 40" x 63", a little long I think;
I took a nap under it a few days ago, and I fit.

A couple decades ago I made quilts, piecing on the machine and quilting by hand. I gave up the craft when carpal tunnel kept me from quilting those little stitches, which can take weeks to finish. Now I have arthritis, making hand stitching even less likely. But I decided I can machine quilt, something I was dead set against back then! I added one line of hand stitching to this quilt, with thread from Grandma Olive's sewing box. It must be at least 75 years old. I wanted to use silk from that box, but it disintegrated as I handled it. The thread I used (in the top row of stitching) feels like flax or linen.

Below is the back. The problem with machine quilting for a novice like me is 1) there are puckers and gathers on the front, and 2) it's even worse on the back, oh and 3) my lines aren't straight. (One could argue that these make it look homemade.) I'm reading up on machine quilting and have now ordered a walking foot for the machine, which is supposed to feed all layers evenly for straight line stitching like this and helps prevent puckering.

back, with puckers

back bottom corner; this would be cute in a girl's dress, too
front top corner, with one row (top) hand stitched with Grandma Olive's thread;
I think the top fabric with green and pink is my favorite
front with cute animal print; Andrea likes owls and Peter likes foxes;
what will baby like?
I'm happy with all these fabrics together

I could have gone with any color from the quilt for the binding;
but I ended up wanting to emphasize the olive green;
I chose a fabric not in the quilt;
next quilt I will make the binding strips a little wider
so that it doesn't feel so stiff;
I love making continuous bias tape binding,
instructions here