Friday, September 24, 2010

Holiday Stars

Thirteen hours later, my quilt for a guild show in October is finally done. This is also the quilt I will take with me to the HQ retreat in 2 weeks. Some of you may recognize these blocks from last year from the Row Robin swap. I think I have used maybe half of the blocks from that swap. The others were ones I made from the same fabrics.
I wanted to custom quilt this top as nicely and as creatively as I could. I made it a goal that my sashings would not be quilted in an ordinary or boring fashion. I guess you could say I really wanted to think outside the box a little bit. In the end, I absolutely LOVE how the sashing quilting brings another dimension to the quilt of otherwise ordinary star blocks.
There is a proverbial ton of pebbling in this quilt...more than a mile's worth of thread went into the pebbling (and other quilting). I think that the pebbling and circles in the sashings pulls the quilt together.
This was the first time (I think) that I have pebbled down the spines of the feathers. I am considering doing this for a much larger border soon (10"), so I thought I'd try it out on something of mine first. First off, I just LOVE these feathers too. Secondly, I have feathered so much on this quilt and the last one I did that I am starting to see definite improvements in my backtracking accuracy. Having 2 batts helps that as well. I added a layer of cheapo-Joann's thinnest polybatt over my usual 80/20 batting. I do notice that this quilt is not a lofty as the last one, which had wool as the top layer instead of the poly. But the added layer makes all of the quilting that much more visible. Here's some closer looks at the blocks...
There are several repeated blocks on the top, and I tried to quilt them the same to be a bit more cohesive on the sampler. Still, the quilting does vary a lot.
The lighter green fabric is very pretty on this one - it has a slight metallic sheen. I wish I had more of this fabric throughout.
These friendship star variants were made by me. Quick, easy and not too boring.
I like the look of the curved cross-hatching. I quilted that on several blocks like this.
Here's another block I made several of (I think most of them went into the table runners last year though!). I love the touch of magenta, and the quilting too is very pretty.
I actually nearly forgot about a horrible near-disaster I had on this quilt. I was stitching along, doing the circles using a template when all of a sudden plexi-glass went all over the place. Aw crap! I actually hit the template with the needle! Now I have inadvertently hit the hopper foot on the templates a time or two and chipped the edge of the templates, but this was a mess. My needle immediately broke in half and kept on stitching for about an inch and a half before my brain registered what was happening and I could stop the machine. After removing the well jammed needle half, I realized the gross damage that stitching with half a needle causes. Thank goodness this quilt is actually mine and not a customer's. It damaged both sides of the fabric. It is along a seamline, thankfully, and is much less visible because of that. I treated the area with "no fray" and will probably forget about it! It will just go down into my chronicles of Longarm Quilting Adventures.
Here's my favorite view...notice how the circle quilting forms the stars at the point where there might be a stone in the sashing? I love when motifs are hidden and unplanned, and then discovered when the quilt comes off the frame.
And lastly, a few pictures from the back...
I must get it bound in the next 2 weeks. UGH. So many things on my plate right now. Before my trip...I must quilt at least 3 customer quilts, two table runners and if time permits, one of my aunt's quilts too. a little fixit job to Primavera before it gets sent off next week. First though, dinner and the kitchen are calling me.
Go sew and have a good weekend.


Monica said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Before it was just a simple sampler and now it's become a beautiful heirloom. Your work is impeccable as usual!

501 Quilt Blocks said...

Wow! I want to quilt like you!

Rana said...

That is truly some awesome quilting! Very beautiful and elevates the quilt. Did you find going from domestic machine to long arm made a huge difference or was it just making time to practice?

Yvette said...

You can't see me but I am bowing to you.
You continue to amaze me with your talent.

Kate said...

I just keep gazing at your work, frightened to blink in case I miss even one little thing!!! This is truly wonderful work. Makes me feel awfully inadequate but also gives me something to aspire to. Please continue to sew and show!! The world needs to see this God-given talent. You really are blessed!! Well done!
Shetland Isles

Ivory Spring said...

This is fanta-bulous, Margaret!!! You ought to be so proud of yourself.

AnnMarie said...

Your sashing is outrageous! Love it.

Tatkis said...

Your quilt is absolutely marvelous! I looked at it for two days, opened and reopened your post - it is incredible! Fantastic work!

Best wishes,

Darling Millie said...

Wow! Outstanding! Just beautiful.

Katie said...

I mean seriously.. are you kidding me? Check out that quilting! It's like - sick!! Look at the little pebbles and perfect feathers - I am in awe for reals.

Laurie in Maine said...

OMG. I found this entry yesterday blog hopping and haven't been able to stop thinking about it!
I want to put 4 blocks together right now just so I can pretend I could quilt something like that.

Sammie said...

SO beautiful!!!

Maya said...

I saw a photo and said - that looks like Margaret's colours and her quilting!! Sure enough I was right!! :)
Gorgeous work.

Hannele said...

I was looking for quilting ideas for my sampler quilt and found this in Pinterest - gourgeous work!