Friday, February 12, 2016

Spiral Madness & Finishing Things

Since December, I have finished SEVEN QUILTS.  All but one were WIP's.  The exception was  made start to finish in a week (a baby quilt, easy-peasy, as Suzanne would say).

Three, completed in December, were already featured here, so scroll back to see photos of those if you want to.  They were:  Crimson Tweed, a Sue Spargo pattern (wool & cotton applique) started in the fall of 2012; Aerial Grove, pattern by Carolyn Friedlander, started in March of 2015; and the String Pieced blocks with blue background (what??!!!! it's nameless????) that was a 60th birthday gift for my dear friend and neighbor, Deb, started in August 2015.  So ONE of those was older, two were started & finished in the same year.

Since January, four more.   I finished the pink, navy & creamy-white low volume GLHQ mystery quilt from February 2015, completed January 2016.  Not too old.  Gifted to my niece, who LOVES it.  Is there anything better than making someone happy with a quilt?  Nope.  I think not.  That was featured recently too, so scroll back and take a peak, if so inclined.

Then.  Spiral Madness took hold.  Last blog entry, I featured 'Seven Point Two', in aquas and low volume creamy whites, the first of this series.  Named due to an earthquake in Alaska the morning I was finishing up the quilting.  Seemed perfect, as the spirals go out from their epicenter.  Here's another pic of that one, since I'm featuring SPIRAL MADNESS and this was the first whole, complete, spiral quilted top.  I've used spirals before, but not ONE   L A R G E   spiral over the whole top.  These quilting lines are about a half-inch apart, and the quilt is 48" X 60". (12" blocks)

2016 finished quilt #2

Finishes 3 and 4 were actually a very very close tie, I conpleted the quilting on #4 before I started quilting #3, but #3 was bound first, so it gets called #3.   They were finished within days, hours, of each other.

Finish #3 was prepped for sewing during GLHQ's Mystery Quilt Day.  I pulled fabrics for a baby quilt for a close friend of my son Eric, Justin, who had his first child born in November, a daughter, Rythm Begonia.  I used some Moda Modern Basics charm squares, added another dozen charm squares cut from stash.  The block's units were pieced & squared up prior to Quilt Day so that all I had to do then was assemble the blocks and top, which I did that day.  The pattern is X's and O's, and I had decided to leave 3 blocks off of two oppposite sides, creating negative space, and added blocks made of four-patches in place of those, keeping with it's scrappy look, and my preferred way of doing things.

A couple of  days later I quilted it.  Larger Spiral this time, about one-inch apart, using walking foot with guide, my lovely 97D foot and Bernina 820.  Using again Very Kerry Berry's spiral pdf file, which I LOVE.  Thank you Kerry, for that beautiful center!  I've played with it's size, using my copier, enlarging or reducing, to meet my purposes of either 1/2" apart lines, or one-inch.  I pin the paper on the quilt where I want to begin & stitch right thru it, reduced stitch length to make smoother curves, removing the paper afterwards, or if it gets in my way.

It was 22 degree outside, but what the heck!  You just can't beat outdoor lighting, even if it's not sunny.  It's not washed yet, which I like to do before gifting a baby quilt.  It has Winline 100% bamboo batting, my current favorite.  It gets so soft and drapeable, I just love it!  This will go into the mail by Tuesday, so shhhhhhhh!!!!   The quilt is 36" X 45", the blocks are 9" blocks, the quilting lines 1" apart.

2016 Quilt Finish #3

In December, I gave a peek of some older blocks I had pulled out of a box when looking for things I might want to donate to GLHQ's UFO auction.  As I mentioned, I posted on Instagram a photo of the blocks on my design wall, and Mary Elizabeth Kinch said she had a set too, as she went to Gwen Marston's retreat for many years.  She thought we should challenge each other to finish these.  She suggested end of January, I countered end of February, so we were on!

By the end of January, I had the top together, and by Feb 9, it was quilted and bound.  I used the Winline Bamboo in this too.  Washed it, blocked it on my basement design wall (yes, I have two!!) and left it to dry there before trimming up & binding.  This worked terrific. The bamboo gets soft, but was nice and flat.  The extra wall is because I used to sew downstairs, before moving up to an empty-nest bedroom on the main floor, nice and warm, great lighting.  The extra wall downstairs is great for spray basting and blocking.

2016 Quilt Finish #4
I absolutely LOVE how this quilt turned out!  Whole-quilt spirals are definitely my new love, and perhaps my go-to when I'm not sure what to do.

It feels GREAT to have pulled out a couple older things, and some not so old and have FINISHED.  There are so many lovely things among my boxes, and it's wonderful to be on a roll!

Here's a close-up of the spiral on this:

Have a great week---join me in finishing some UFO's!  I'd love to see them!  You can tag me on Instagram, susanlorettasquirrel!!

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