Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sophie's Quilt

This is the end of vacation week for my kids.  Everyone has been home bored out of their minds - you know how the drill always is.  But this was a dedicated few days that I had my machine vacant, and my daughter home.  We had a mission that needed accomplishing - this quilt had to be quilted.
This is her quilt.  She's nine, and she did most of the piecing of this late last fall - with a Janome machine she won by entering a quilt at VQF.  You're thinking, these are not my colors...Bingo.  She shopped for and selected the fabrics.  Ironic that she chose that Michael Miller Eiffel tower fabric again this year!  Scroll way down on this link and you will see what she quilted last year.  Every year, she gravitates towards the solid fabrics, and they are always a constant challenge to quilt.
On Sunday, her quilt and a sample piece of fabric was loaded.  I had no idea what she'd quilt on her pink & green quilt.  Last year's quilt was such a nice clean finish.  The parallel (mostly) lines were neat, and they looked professional.  They were also done with the channel-locks.  It was not computerized quilting, but it's a little beyond free-hand also.  This year, I wanted her to try something more, something different.  Two years ago, her butterfly quilt was quilted with a panto from the backside of the machine.  These butterflies were a wee bit wonky, but she was pleased.  It was worth another try.  She was taller now, which would make this easier.
 Here was the flower panto I pulled.  I do have a few that are easier, but didn't think they related to her "Springtime in Paris" notion.
The panto was really hard.  Really!...She quilted a good 80" of it, and there is barely a resemblance of a flower.  We needed plan B.  It was time to go to the front of the machine so she could try quilting things she could see, rather than the red laser.
 There were bumps, and some letters.  What kid won't try quilting their name?
 ...a few stars, looks and lines
I tried drawing a flower and having her quilt over it.  She's too literal, and tries to trace the line exactly.  It ends up being very messy.  What she really needs is 10 yards of fabric to just PLAY.  Then she'll get the feel of the machine more.  Unfortunately, we didn't have that kind of time.
As a last resort, I remembered that the machine handles horizontal and vertical lines very easily.  Have her try boxes, and a boxing path.  I actually thought I might have her do this in the busy part of her blocks, and the channel-lock lines everywhere else, as that would have a very clean finish, but she chose this pattern for everywhere.  This is her quilt, and her learnings.  I am glad to have her quilting from the front-side and quilting free-handed.  That is a huge step over the last 2 years, even if she never wins anything with this quilt.
She's still tiny so the step stool was needed to get her hips up to the belly-bar.  The pattern quilts slowly so it's mostly standing on one place.
Over the course of 4 days, we got through this twin bed quilt.  By "We", I  mean "she".  I got to clean the studio and repeat "stop racing" and "sharp corners" about a zillon times.   I tried using a silk batting that Hobbs sent me last fall.  I thought I might use it for myself, but her's has a flannel backing, and a thinner batting would be a good idea.  It's nice.
 It's hard broaching the "you may not win" discussion with a 9-year old, after she's won 2nd and 1st place in the past 2 years.  She's got her eye on the money.  Or so I thought...She told me she really wants the sign that MQX puts by the winning quilt that says "1st place"!  Chuckle!  But seriously, though I know it is healthy for kids to learn how to not win, she just lights up when she does.  It has been immensely motivating in keeping her wanting to continue sewing and quilting.
Here's her finished quilt, quilted in a fantastic lime green thread.  It is boxy, and has a crackle-like texture.  It's all free-hand from the front-side, wonky and 9-yr old at the same time.  Hopefully the judges will recognize the 8 hours it took her to quilt it.  They don't care that she chose the fabrics, and pieced it herself.  They only judge the quilting part.  I know it's errors.  It's not like my quilts where some of them can be hidden.  The solid fabrics show it all.
In the end, it does not matter.  She loves the quilt, and is proud of having made it.  Sophie was ready to have it on her bed 3 days ago, before the binding is even stitched.  Some poor sap is hand stitching that for her (seriously, THAT is on my list of "need to teach her" for next year!).


Shasta Matova said...

Sophie did an excellent job with this quilt. Great fabric choices - everything coordinates so well, great piecing, and the boxy quilting looks fabulous.

Helen Rosenberger said...

Sophie did a great job! Her colors are nice and bright for her age! I think she did a great job free hand quilting too! Yeah for Sophie!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful quilting, Sophie!! You can be so proud of yourself!

Joy said...

Fabulous! She managed one of the most difficult feats beautifully - consistency.
I think this could well be a ribbon contender.
Well done, Sophie.

momto1 said...

I'm VERY impressed with the consistent size of the quilting. I'm not that experienced at machine quilting, but I'm very aware that it takes skill to get designs like that quilted consistently yard over yard. She's done a great job!

Carole S.

Aileen said...

Wow! Way to go Sophie! You did a fantastic job from start to finish. Love the fabric, the design and most of all the boxy quilting. It truly looks wonderful.
I can't wait to see what you do next!

Aileen in Florida

Susie Q said...

Impressive from start to finish. That quilt will go off into the real world with her!!

Luann Fischer said...

I love the color choices you made for your quilt. I find it hard to always get a sharp corner. I know I need to slow down a bit, but I get excited to see it finished. Your mom is a great Quilter to learn from. So, listen carefully to her suggestions, you'll learn a lot from her. I wish you the best in the upcoming show. If I was handing out ribbons, you would get one. Keep trying new things with your quilting. I'll be watching your mom's blog to see pictures of your next project.

You can be pleased that you have a daughter following in your footsteps. She is a treasure for you to enjoy. I'm sure she will grow, as she has someone at hand to model after. Do all youth entries get some form of recognition? If not a 'placing' ribbon and $, a letter of participation? It would be nice for their own memories and journals. Perhaps you will print out all the comments that are sure to come in that will encourage her along the way. Just an idea from a grandma.

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

Great job Sophie!!! I quickly see you leading the next generation of star show quilters!

Edie Frasier said...

Wow! Sophie did great. I hope she continues to quilt on your long-arm machine. She should be proud of herself!