Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cousin quilts are done!

These took wayyyy too long.  I guess about a year and a half for both.  Of course, I'm not a quilter (though I enjoyed these enough where I might become one.  Maybe I'm now a beginner quilter).
I have quilted two twin sized quilts and one wall hanging in the very distant past, and collected a fair sized quilt library.  These quilts are from a pattern from one of the books, my version of the Pink Mosaic Crib Quilt from Marti Mitchell's Scrap Patchwork and Quilting.  I've read enough books and blogs to know I broke a few zillion rules on these, but it was all by choice.  I wanted the pieced squares to be puffy, so there's no quilting inside them, while the surrounding blocks were fairly densely quilted.  I did so very much enjoy the machine quilting part.  I also chose to bind them with folded-over blanket binding, to give the toddlers  some silky stuff to rub their fingers on at nap time.  I almost lost my courage on that one come bind time, but in the end I was happy with that choice.


I ignored quite a few mistakes, but of course there were a few that just had to involve a seam ripper.  I really can't explain what happened here but toddlers were running in and out.  As I recall, it didn't take as long to fix as it looked like it would.

I found a tip for using the stuff offices use for gripping papers when filing to grip fabric and move it where you need it, such as when putting edges together to sew.  Much better than licking your fingers.  I bought some quilting gloves but it's summer and guess what?  If you put this stuff on all ten finger tips it works well at moving fabric for machine quilting too.  The gloves just sat there after I figured that out.


I can't remember binding any of those former quilts or sweating mitering corners.  This time I was a little unsure so I researched on YouTube and found a tutorial using bobby pins. (Lizzie Leonard, How to Mitre corners on Quilt Binding).  Even though I only had one and it was a little bulky with decoration, it worked well, especially with all those dense layers of folded satin blanket binding.  And yes, I did mix metallic, rayon, and 100% cotton threads on this quilt, with all purpose polyester in the bobbin.  My babies will like it.  I think it will last OK.

The second quilt I chose to hand stitch the binding onto the front.  A little more work, I liked them both equally.  Now I'm confident I can do it both ways, though the hand stitched looks nicer on the back.  Just slightly.
I found myself thinking about more quilts throughout this process, especially once I started the quilting part.  The piecing was a little tedious for me.  I was happy with how most of it matched up, and comfortable with what did not.  They are, after all, Grandma quilts, and imperfections add some to their charm.  I think it says to them, she struggled with this because she loves you.  As much as I loved the quilting, I'm not blind to how amature most of it is, though there were some places where I went into the zone and was very pleased with the results.  I'm now compelled sometimes to draw quilting in the air, and I print out stuff and copy the lines on paper.  I think I've been bitten by the quilt bug.  Alas, there are other projects out and waiting, and I don't expect to have another quilt top whipped up at lightening speed anyway.  Hopefully in less time than these two took!

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