Monday, May 11, 2015

The End of the Line

“I've come so far short in so many things. I haven't done what I meant to do when I began ... I haven't lived up to my ideals.”

“None of us ever do,” said Mrs. Allan with a sigh. “But then, Anne, you know what Lowell says, ‘Not failure but low aim is crime.’ We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great. Hold fast to your ideals, Anne.”
–Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


My dad keeps telling me I should put up one final post that says, It's dead, Jim. He's a funny guy, my dad.

Both blogging and sewing have had to take a back seat, but I'm not done with either of those things yet. It might be a bit of a snooze-fest around here — I started this post almost 2 months ago and am just now getting back it to it. The pictures were all edited and everything, so the hard part was done. All I had to do was add the witty commentary. Wait. Maybe the hard part wasn't done. Anyway I'm still sewing, even if it is just 15 minutes before bed, and still want to show what I'm working on.

While it is not the end of the line for my little blog, I did finish off this spool of 1300 meters {that's 1420 yards for those of us still using Imperial measurements} of AURIfil 50wt thread. Of course, I didn't use up that whole 1420 yards in just this one project. I've used it in a number of projects, but it is pretty cool to think that sometime I've sewn at least 710 yards {because, you know, half of that goes in the bobbin}. I'm sure more yards than that are run in the average football game. And it doesn't sound so impressive when you convert it to miles and find out that you can't even get to the gas station in 710 yards. But still, 710 yards. One stitch at a time.

A while back, the lovely and talented P. over at The Way I Sew It found a quilt top that her grandmother had made. She puttered around with it and collaborated with Sandi at Piecemeal Quilts to put together a pattern for it. Once that was complete, she took apart her grandmother's quilt top and remade it as a wonderful keepsake.

I loved the fun design, and ordered the pattern right away. Sidebar: it is currently available for free here. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but as ideas sometimes do, it went on the back burner. I have this sweet friend in my neighborhood that I've gotten to know pretty well in the last five years or so, and wanted to do something nice for her birthday. So, I started playing around with colors.

I designed around a piece of blue Kona {I can't remember the name of it for sure, I think it might be Rain} that I bought to go on the back of the triangle quilt, Friendship Garden. It just didn't work on that quilt, but I wanted to try and make it work on this one.

I also had a piece of Kona in Snow, left from Christine's Flower Garden. My first thought was to use the blue as the centers of the flowers and the sashings and the white as the background, but it worked better the other way around.

I started with the easiest bit of quilting first. I did the stitching in the ditch and the meander in the background. Then I decided I wanted some straight lines, but I wanted it to be as easy as possible. Marking with tape is such a hassle and if you use a washable marker, you have to wash the quilt before you give it away. While I do love a soft, crinkly, washed quilt, I also love how a quilt looks after it is freshly quilted. So, I used a Hera Marker to score lines into the fabric. Actually, I started out using the back side of a 99₵ seam ripper to make the markings, and eventually bought a Hera marker. I did everything free-motion and backtracked in the seam allowances, completing each flower without stopping. It's not perfect, not by a long shot, but it was good practice.

To balance out all of the geometric quilting, I put some swirls in the lily petals.

I kind of like how it is coming along.

Here's a close-up of the quilting on the lilies.

The quilt is finished, and I've already taken it to my friend. It was supposed to be for her birthday, which was December 24th, but I was a little late getting it to her. Like, four-ish months late. I've got photos, but they need editing, so we'll end on a cliff hanger. I'm hoping to finish this story off a little faster than I got it started. In the meantime, you can see what I'm up to on Instagram.

5 comments:

P. said...

LOVE! You made a fabulous quilt, Elizabeth! There aren't enough capital letters and exclamation points to convey how much I love your quilt. Just beautiful!

Shay said...

Well Hello E! So nice to see you.

Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous. And your quilting is divine!

Kim said...

I am sure your sweet friend didn't mind one iota that this gorgeous quilt was a li'l late!! Oh my it is stunning! The quilt pattern, the colours, the fabrics to the amazing quilting....love, love, LOVE!!

Vicki said...

Looooove the quilting. And the quilt. Great job my dear!

Angie said...

I love how you quilted it!!