I’m sure you quilters know that moment when you lose the love for a project. It’s when the end is almost within sight but there are still some hours to be put in. Well, at least that’s how it is for me.
Actually, I don’t feel like that very often – perhaps because my quilting is usually fairly straight-forward although, as you may have noticed, I am becoming more adventurous.
I still quilt the “old way” – I knot the strands on the back of the quilt and hide the ends in the wadding. My good friend, Cindy, who blogs at Delighted Hands, suggested I try taking small stitches at the beginning and end of each line of quilting and then cutting the threads. Well, I tried that method – I really did. I even tried it in class. My teacher and I discussed it and we tried three different methods but the stitching just pulled out! So I went back to the old way.
Now that is usually not too bad but this time I set myself a real challenge. My Wonky Quarter Log Cabin quilt is made up of twenty 12” blocks. I decided to accentuate the wonkiness by echo quilting around each block. That wasn't too bad – mostly I just had one pair of ends to sew in for each of the twenty blocks.
It took a while to decide on a way to quilt the blocks themselves and finally I settled on radiating lines, carefully avoiding the diagonal through the centre of the block so as not to draw attention to the fact that different width strings don't meet at the diagonal. I chose to do three radiating lines either side of the diagonal – that’s six lines for each block or twelve ends to be sewn in – for twenty blocks.
The first two blocks took three hours to mark up and sew, and that didn’t include sewing the ends in. I still struggle to move a twin size quilt under my machine even though my machine has a 9” harp space. The weight of the quilt drags and catches and I am still learning how best to handle the quilt for the more intricate types of walking foot quilting I do (yes, walking foot – I don’t have a good grip on FMQ and am nowhere near ready to use it on my quilts).
I did get faster with each block but I still estimate that I spent about thirty hours quilting this project and sewing all those ends in. When I thought I was almost done and realised I was only 40% of the way through, having completed only eight blocks, I lost the love.
But, I am the kind of person who likes to finish what I start and today I sewed the label on that baby!
And, guess what? I found the love again. I really, really like the quilting; especially the way I’ve extended the radiating lines into the top and left side border – a stroke of inspiration.
As usual, the back includes my signature panel made up of “left over blocks” (I actually had to make the blocks for the back as DD and OG had only made nineteen of the twenty blocks needed for the front – see this post for the full story).
I’m linking this post with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday which is being hosted at My Quilt Infatuation. Why not pop over there and see what other people have finished this week? Perhaps you also have something to contribute.
I’m hoping to be back soon to show you a couple of mum’s completed blankets but spring is just three days away and it’s very tempting to be out in the garden!
Until then, may your stitches bring you much joy.