Jun 13 13

When a Quilt Leaves the Nest

Blue-floral-whole

This quilt has been waiting  in the wings for months.  As I made it, I intended to quilt it myself, and even designed the center block to have lots of “blank space” so I could showcase some interesting quilting there.  The more I worked on it, though, the more I realized that I really did not want to quilt this myself.  In the first 6-8 months that I was learning about machine embroidery applique, I had this rare but very frustrating experience with my bobbin where the project would suddenly get sucked down into my bobbin case.  When this happened, the only way to remove the hooped project from the machine was to literally cut it out…meaning that the project was ruined.  I took my machine to the dealer and they ran my machine for days and days and could never reproduce that problem.  She finally told me they didn’t know why it happened but maybe I needed to use a heavier weight fusible interfacing for the backside of my fabric blocks.  So, that’s what I did and over the next several months, I embroidered many, many, many applique blocks with this mid-weight fusible interfacing.  As it turns out, the problem I was having had nothing to do with the interfacing; it was totally operator error (i.e. me) and it was because I was winding my bobbins incorrectly.  It was great to have that issue solved, but now I have about a bazillion really pretty applique blocks that are heavier than they should be.  It’s not that big of a deal until you sew them together, and then you have a quilt top that weighs A TON!!  (I’m not kidding, this quilt is really heavy!)   On top of that, it is stiffer than normal and all of this makes it not very fun to quilt if you do sitdown, push-through quilting, especially if you work on a home domestic sewing machine.  So, I am very happily having it quilted by Jenny Pedigo of the SewKindofWonderful blog.  Her work is exquisite and it’s a huge relief to me not to have to push and pull this monster across my machine bed!  Here are some shots of blocks in this quilt:
flower-A-blk-1
These large blocks are 17 1/2 inches square.  They are made up of 4 smaller versions of Flower A set on point.  Here’s a closeup of the MEA on Flower A:
 
Flower-1-closeup
This next block has 2 different versions of Flower C on it:
 
flower-b-block
This is version 1:
 
flower-b1
…and this is version 2:
 
flower-b2
(The differences between them are in the way the “internal” designs are embroidered.) The next block is made by combining a swag wreath and a feathered wreath:
 
Wreath-+-Swag
…and this is the center block:
 
center-block
 
And last but not least, here is a portion of a border.  (My camera can’t get a wide enough shot of the full border and still have the picture capture any detail):
blue-border-with-birds
If you follow my blog, you know that I love to free motion quilt, so you may be asking yourself why I would send off a quilt to be quilted by a long arm quilter.  Here are 3 reasons why I shipped this quilt off:
1.  I can’t bear the thought of shoving that heavy quilt across my machine bed.  Truly, there would be no joy in it for me, so what’s the point?
2.  I am literally buried under all kinds of work I need to complete.  Some of it is quilting, some of it is my medical job, and some of it is boring computer work that just needs to get done.  I already have 5-6 quilts in varying stages of being quilted and it would be a good year before I could touch this one.  I say that because there are many quilts in my head that haven’t been started yet and I would begin quilting those before I’d get to this one, simply because of not wanting to do it!
3.  I can learn a lot of stuff by having this quilted by a professional quilter.  That may sound odd, but it’s very, very true!  Each of us brings our own “style” and “eye” to quilting and it’s good to get a different perspective on design.  I absolutely LOVE Jenny Pedigo’s work (scroll backwards on her blog and oogle over the eye candy that her quilting is), and you’ll see what I mean.  She has an incredible talent for dividing up blank space and creating something novel to quilt in that blank space.  I am really curious to see what she creates.
Does a part of me feel kind of badly that I’m not 100% responsible for finishing this quilt?  YES, no question about it!  BUT, I need to get this quilt done and off my list so I can move on to the next thing and the relief of having it completed far outweighs the negative feelings.  I’ll never be able to enter it in a competition but that’s fine with me.  I’ll be the proud owner of a beautiful quilt that I designed, embroidered, and pieced and that’s good enough for me for this quilt!

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3 Comments

  1. Kelly Jackson Says:

    I’ve had that problem with my bobbin and had to cut my project from the machine. Yes…usually it is the bobbin or thread…at least in my limited experience.

    I hopped over to Jenny’s blog and I really am impressed with her quilting. Her quilting really adds the secondary pop to the quilt. I look forward to seeing her magic on your beautiful quilt.

    Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow evening at the Black Swamp Quilt Guild!

    Smiles,
    Kelly

  2. susanbh12 Says:

    Gorgeous quilt, Patsy! I hope to see it at the big shows.

    I’d like to know more about what you were doing with the bobbin & which machine, so if I do that, I can avoid the same. I don’t usually wait until a bobbin is empty to start a new one, because the initial winding is always looking a mite strange.

  3. Valerie Says:

    I love this quilt, as I do all of your quilts, and I completely understand your need to get it done and finished! It is really something special when two talented artists collaborate so I also look forward to seeing what Jenny does with your quilt!

    Ps…I just placed an order for dyes inspired by all of your beautiful colors. I’ve been reading about dyeing fabric for years and finally am motivated to try it for myself. I dyed t-shirts for my daughters this past fall for our Disney trip so I’m thinking – I can do this now! :)