Thursday, July 22, 2010

Snowball Night: One Down, One to Go

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. -Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

I finished my first Rainbow Sherbet snowball quilt. I cut it pretty close, but it was done and wrapped so that I was just on time for my sister's wedding shower yesterday! After I finished the top, I wasn't feeling the love but now that it is all done, I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to get going on it's twin so I can have one too!

I was pretty nervous about the machine quilting. I got lots of support and words of encouragement, which helped a lot.

Michelle's comment was so sweet! She said, stippling is really very forgiving, and your snowball quilt is so bright and cheery that every one will be focusing on the pieced design rather than the stippling. You'll do fine.

P.'s advice was really helpful and something I know to be true. After you do it and leave it for a day or so and look at it again, you'll think, wow, that's not bad!

But my favorite bit of advice was from Mrs. Pyjamas, who said, Close your eyes and start to stipple. If you jump I'll jump.

I only have one question. Am I Jack or Rose?

I got lots done while I was procrastinating the machine quilting, but was running out of time so I just had to get over myself and do it. This is what the stippling looked like with my eyes closed. Pretty craptastic.

After a while, I kind of got into a groove and I wasn't so panicky about how fast that needle was going up and down. I did have a few spots where I overlapped lines a bit, but overall, it wasn't so scary as I thought it would be. The stitching in this block was particularly pretty to me. I guess it was helpful to open my eyes.

I'm not a big gotta-get-the-quilt-in-the-wash-right-after-it-is-finished kind of quilter. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I always take my quilts to the long arm quilter and they come back so beautiful that I hate to lose any of that detail or the smooth pressed look of the fabric in the wash. But my machine has some malfunction and I got a bit of machine grease in a few spots and so after it was bound, I put it in to wash. I figured that eventually it was going to have to be washed anyway, and so it might as well be now. That way my sister wouldn't see how different it was after it came out of the wash – washed would be the only way she ever saw it. As I was putting it into the machine, all I could think was, do you know how many hours I spent starching and pressing this thing? But as it turns out I loved how this particular quilt came out. It was all bumpy and wrinkly and cozy and soft and all of the quilting mistakes were hidden. I think that was my favorite part.

And this is my favorite part of the quilt, the baby snowballs on the back. As I was working on them I wondered if it was worth all the trouble, but I totally love how they came out.

My sister was so cute when I gave it to her. She said, I love blankets!

Here's another shot of her with the quilt. Cute, no? {The girl, not the quilt.} My instincts in the beginning were right about making two of these quilts. I feel like something is missing today and then I remember it is the quilt. I totally want it back {despite my lukewarm feelings towards it after the top was finished}. It's a good thing that I have another one all cut out and waiting for me to work on.

It was really fun to try something new with the artsy shots of the quilt. They are much more interesting to look at than a full shot of the quilt hanging on my fence. But admit it. You really want to know what the whole thing looks like. Don't worry. I've got you covered. The finished size is 51½-ish" x 68-ish". I measured it before I washed it and it shrank more in the width than the length. I thought that was interesting.

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24 comments:

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Yep - it's beautiful alright. Your FM quilting looks like you've been doing it for YEARS!

Does that mean I have to jump now ?

Michelle said...

Gorgeous--both in design and quilting! Even the block you thought looked "craptastic" looks wonderful! I think when we feel intimidated, we see "craptastic" where really there is only fear.

I really like the sashing on your snowball quilt. Cool idea.

Your sister is very cute, and she looks quite pleased. :-)

P. said...

It is amazing!!! You did that whole big thing? Wow, I'm blown away! I'm with you on not feeling the urge to wash a new quilt right away, but yours turned out so soft and comfy looking. Your sister's a lucky girl!

pinksuedeshoe said...

I am totally impressed. I just bought a free motion foot for my machine and my first practice block.... well craptastic is a good word for it. Although I think mine has yours beat :o) Love those colors and the little snowballs on the back look so cute! Love it!

e.

Cathi said...

It's gorgeous! To me, your free motion quilting looks fabulous. I'm nowhere near enough brave to try free motion quilting. I have fits just following the block design on a quilt!

Penny said...

It's totally gorgeous!! Yummy colours too :) Thanks for visiting my blog .

Cecily said...

Very pretty! Love the colors, the pattern and the quilting. Great job!

Lesly said...

It's really very pretty - such sweet colours! And your quilting looks wonderful - while you are focused so much on what is happening under the needle it's easy to see mistakes, but once it's washed it becomes a glorious bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts quilt. I'm sure your sister was proud to receive it!

Jan said...

Your color choices are wonderful, as is the quilting! I just finished my first big quilt top (well, big to me!) and it's a snowball quilt. With my limited practice with stippling, I'm scared to give that a go.

Coloradolady said...

I love it!! Amazing how many things you can do with a snowball block!!

Threeundertwo said...

So pretty! I'm not a throw-the-quilt-in-the-wash type person either, but I love the texture once they are washed.

You're making me think I should make a snowball quilt to use up some scraps I have. I love the look. Thanks so much for linking up to Finished for Friday.

p.s.phyllis sews said...

Love the colors that you chose - both warm and so comforting! Great work!

beth said...

What a great quilt...A great gift...And a great job. WOW! that was your first try at free motion??

Leslie said...

this is so gorgeous...you did such a beautiful job

Vicki said...

Great job with this one! Your quilting looks good! I've been free motion quilting for over 10 years and I think I improve a little with every quilt :)

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

It's 'sew' gorgeous! I want one too! Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

www.seamsinspired.com

Katie :o) said...

beautiful quilt! Congrats on the quilting :o)

Ivory Spring said...

What a lovely quilt - love the colors.

Sew Many Ways... said...

I absolutely love, love, love this quilt. You did such a wonderful job. You've inspired me to get going on a quilt I need to free motion quilt.

Angie said...

I LOVE the way the quilting came out. Before I got my longarm, I only quilted a couple of small projects and not the idea gives me the heba-de-geebies! Great work! I told you you would love it once it was quilted. :D

Dandelion Quilts said...

What a pretty quilt. :)

Rita E said...

This is SOOOO pretty! I love it! And your stippling came out great ... much better than mine did when I first started. You did a great job!

JeffnJenna said...

I love it! It couldn't have turned out any more perfect in my eyes. I love it. Congrats!

JeffnJenna said...

P.S. I love the bumpy texture to it too. I want to run my hands over it and fall asleep with my face on it (I promise I won't drool). It's really great the way it turned out. Love ya!