Well, I finished my wild thing's birthday quilt. As I mentioned in my last post, he and my wonderful husband were heading out of town for an overnight trip, and I jumped on the opportunity to make a quilt for him without his knowledge. Yes...yes... I could have just worked on it for nights on end after he went to bed, and cleaned up all evidence every night before going to bed myself, but hey- that's just not how I roll. Of course, that means that I had to sew like a mad-woman to get it pieced, quilted, and bound within the span of less than 36 hours (sleep optional)-
even if I did choose a really simple pattern.
Here it is all finished! I'm calling it Sailing at Sunset, since the colors remind me of the ocean when it is most beautiful, and because there are a few nautical-themed fabrics mixed in.
Marathon sewing aside, I'm really proud of this quilt for a few reasons.
1. I've been quilting off and on for almost 15 years, but before this quilt, I have never done a pieced backing. It's not that I don't know how to do one, it's just that by the time the top is all finished, I'm ready to get on with the quilting part and get it done. After seeing lots of awesome pieced backings all over the blogosphere (thanks for the inspiration!), I decided to take the plunge and do one myself.
2. Until this quilt, I've never done a binding. What's that you say? No binding? How did I finish the edges of my quilts? Well, I used the method used by my grandmother, which is called "back over binding." This method involves leaving the backing a couple of inches wider than the quilt top all the way around, and you simply fold it over, tuck the raw edge, and stitch it down, either by hand or machine. This works great if you've chosen a backing that isn't too busy and will look great against the pattern of the quilt top. Alas, the backing I wanted to do would not have looked good on the front side, so I had to learn a new skill! All in all, I'm happy with it, even though my corners don't look perfect- darn that mitering!
3. My FMQ is getting so much better. I didn't have a single crossover in my stippling on this quilt (yay! personal victory!), and I felt really relaxed while quilting. Usually, I feel tense while quilting, and as a result I don't think my curves are as smooth as they should be. I know I've mentioned that FMQ is still a new skill I'm working to perfect, and I've had one or two crossovers in each of my last quilts. In this one- not a single one. I'm also working on more even spacing of my meandering lines. It's hard to take a picture of all this, but here's my best shot (no pun intended, lol!).
Check out the label I added to the back. You can see the quilting pretty well in this picture too. To apply the label, I used spray basting to hold it in place, and then appliqued it to the backing after basting, but before quilting (so the stitches wouldn't show on the front of the quilt) with a zig-zag stitch. Have I mentioned that I really dislike hand sewing? I find it tedious, and I don't think that my stitches are as strong as machine stitching. Believe me, if I can find a way to do something on the machine, I will NEVER choose to do it by hand.
and because I can't help it, I'm going to include a picture of my Boxer Beau, who takes every opportunity to visit me and forces me to take breaks. He's pretty persistent! :)
I actually managed to finish this quilt (from cut pieces to finished quilt) in about 18 hours! Well before my husband and wild thing are due to arrive home. Now, we'll have to see if I can actually make it to June 8th before giving the quilt to him. I'm not a great secret keeper, and I love giving gifts that I know will be loved, so it's going to be tough! I can't wait to see him snuggled up with it! I love that even though he's almost nine, he still loves Mommy's quilts. :)