I'm finally able to share my Modern Baby Clam Shells finish with you! Its final name is "Butterflies in Margot's Garden," named after the little girl for whom it was made. (This quilt is my original design; no pattern currently available).
|Butterflies in Margot's Garden, Before Washing, 42" x 42"|
I have always washed my finished quilts prior to gifting them, for a number of reasons: I want to remove any skin oils, hand lotion, dust, quilt markings, washable basting glue, spray starch, etc that may have been applied to the quilt during the process of making it. I also want to be the one to discover any disastrous issues that a quilt might have (like a dye bleed) BEFORE I give the quilt away, so I could correct the problem and save the recipient the heartbreak of thinking that they had done something wrong to "ruin" the quilt. I have also always felt like the quilt isn't 100% finished until it comes out of the dryer all soft and snuggly, ready for cuddling, and I want to be able to assess the quilt's changes in size and in texture to better inform my batting selections for future quilts.
|Butterflies in Margot's Garden, After Washing, 38" x 38"|
Also of note: The quilt top measured 42" x 42" when I loaded it on my frame for quilting. I did not measure it after quilting, before washing it, but after washing it in cold water and then tumbling dry with low heat, the finished quilt measures closer to 38" x 38". That's nearly 10% shrinkage! I used leftover 80/20 cotton/polyester batting, most likely Hobbs Heirloom, so some of the shrinkage is from the cotton in the quilt batting. There is also some shrinkage that happens from the quilting stitches drawing up the quilt. However, most crucially, I did not prewash any of my fabrics for this quilt because I was using a layer cake for the 9 1/2" clam shell prints.
|Pieced Backing, Butterflies in Margot's Garden|
This is my first time piecing a quilt backing from two different fabrics. I know everyone else has been doing this forever. I was short on the giant scaled Kaffe Fassett floral print I'd purchased for the backing when I was first planning this quilt in December of 2018, and decided that I really liked how this leftover strip of backing trimmed from a previous quilt looked with the florals. Look at that, you guys -- maybe I'm becoming THRIFTY after all these years! ("Unlikely," says my husband...)
|Detail of Hand Quilted Butterfly on Backing|
I was a little worried that the heavy hand quilting stitches that I added to the butterflies might look weird from the backing side, but they blend in rather nicely (Can you see them in the photo above?). I was grateful that the red dye in the cotton perle #5 thread did not bleed. The skein was marked "colorfast" but sometimes they lie, especially with red. ;-)
|The Binding Shot|
I remembered to take a picture of my binding this time. I cut my strips at 2" wide, sewed them to the front of my quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance, and then stitched them to the back by hand with regular 50/3 Mettler cotton thread.
|Butterfly Detail, Before Washing|
Another interesting observation: The butterfly print fabric that I used for my broderie perse butterfly appliqués does not appear to be 100% cotton like the quilt shop cottons that were used for the rest of the quilt. It was an eBay remnant that I purchased online, so I didn't have access to the bolt information and, frankly, I didn't care because the style, scale, and colors of the print were exactly what I wanted for this project. The hand of the fabric felt slightly thicker and stiffer when it showed up in the mail. The butterflies still feel slightly stiffer after washing and they didn't shrink as much as the background fabric, but this is actually a GOOD thing because it makes them puff up slightly for almost a trapunto effect after washing, helping to create the illusion that the butterflies are flying across the surface of the quilt rather than being stitched down. Let's pretend I meant to do that!
|Butterfly Detail, After Washing|
So, in my experience, an 80/20 cotton/polyester batting gives a very traditional, crinkly cotton batting look after quilting and washing, with just a bit more loft and less flattening in the larger spaces between quilting stitches than I'd get with 100% cotton batting. That little bit of loft helps the machine quilting stitches look better on both sides of the quilt, and gives a little more definition to the quilting design. But what I really like about 80/20 batting over 100% cotton is that the polyester fibers help a quilt with 80/20 batting to resist holding creases where it's been folded. It's a little lighter weight than 100% cotton, too.
|Butterflies in Margot's Garden, 38 x 38, Completed October 2020|
All the Juicy Details:
- TITLE: "Butterflies in Margot's Garden"
- PATTERN: My Original Design, "Modern Baby Clam Shells," No Pattern Available
- TECHNIQUES USED: Traditional Curved Machine Piecing, Turned Edge Broderie Perse Appliqué Machine Blanket Stitched Appliqué, Hand Embroidery (antennas)
- SIZE: 38" x 38"
- BATTING: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20
- FABRIC: Crystal Manning's Painted Garden collection for Moda (print clam shells) and Grunge Sky (background); Kaffe Fassett Collective for Free Spirit Fabrics Rose Clouds print in Mint Green (backing)
- QUILTING DESIGN: Semi-Custom quilting combining hand-guided edge to edge, SID around butterfly appliqués, and hand quilting on the appliqués themselves.
- E2E PANTOGRAPH DESIGN: Daisies Galore from Willow Leaf Quilting
- THREAD: Glide 40 wt, Color 37457 Cloud, top & bobbin
· Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
· Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
· Finished Or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
· Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre
· TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: http://tgiffriday.blogspot.ca/p/hosting-tgiff.html
· UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland
· Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué
· Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework
· Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts
· Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
· Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
· To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
· Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
· Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
· Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
· Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
· Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree
it turned out really good. I always like a little shrinkage and sometimes amazed at how much it does shrink and sometimes it will shrink just a little more on the second wash and dry. The amount yours shrunk I would say is normal from my experience as well. The hand stitching will be just fine I think it looked good to me. I'm sure whoever you are giving this to will love it
That was a lot of shrinkage! Your hand quilting was great and the whole quilt is wonderful. Finishes are TERRIFIC!!!
Love it! Such a cheerful quilt!
This is a great quilt and I'm sure the family will love it. I find your blog so interesting, as you take us through the steps and describe what worked and didn't work, and why. Thank you for teaching us so much!
That turned out just wonderfully, Rebecca Grace! I've enjoyed following along as you worked on this quilt, and love the finished look of it. Your attention to detail, from the original blocks, to the added butterflies, to the quilting really makes it! I recently started using Hobbs 80/20 batting and think it might be my favorite from now on!
That turned out really nice, I am sure they will love it to pieces;) Love the striped binding.
This is such a pretty little quilt. I really love the hand details you gave to the butterflies, and that backing is Gorgeous! I love that 80/20 batting - it washes so nicely. And if you don't want a lot of the crinkling (for example on a modern quilt where you want the quilting itself to stay crisp and front stage), you can preshrink it before quilting. Win-win, whichever style you prefer!
How cute! I'll bet Margot will be dragging that around with her everywhere she goes.
Yippee for the finish, and I like the look of the washed quilt - so cuddly! The binding is great!
Ta-Done is right! Congratulations on conquering all your decision making side tracking and making the quilt more unique and wonderful as you worked through the process. Keeping your eye on who the quilt was for created a one-of-a-kind treasure that will keep Margot safe and warm as she explores the world.
Ohhh I think it turned out great!! I know that it will be loved - it is just so colorful and the butterflies - oh my!!
I’m glad I’m not the only one that washes before giving so as to ward off any disasters. Beautifully done! Kudos to you, she will love it.
You've done it again, Rebecca, captured my attention with your cheery colors. Love the pantograph choice. I can imagine butterflies flitting from flower to flower.
Beautiful quilt, and quilting!
I'm shocked at that shrinkage factor!
Congrats on the finish!
Oh my, this quilt is stunning in the colours, fabric patterns and design! Margo is going to love and treasure her quilt! Love the oversized butterfly; and the pantograph design is a lovely choice. The back looks fabulous, too, with the two fabrics. I enjoyed reading all the information of the process....but, I must say I am amazed as the shrinkage when washed. I have never heard of that amount of shrinkage in a quilt before.
Congratulations on your gorgeous finish! I agree with washing before giving now. I do it all the time and had the bleed problem this week, but recovered! Also, I measure the small quilt I did with a Daisy Marie quilt pattern (funny we both used daisies) and there was 2" lost all around before washing, which is next. I was quite surprised as I don't think it's a really dense pattern. The shrinkage seems to be close to 6-8% when I last figured it, so I'm curious to see on this one, which is an all cotton batting.
Hi Rebecca, what a great finish. Your quilt is really lovely and I'm sure that it will be well loved! I'll have to consider using that 80/20 batting. Thanks for the tip! I hope that you'll come on over and link up to Free Motion Mavericks - I'm hosting until Tuesday evening. Take care.
I never wash my quilts before gifting but I understand why some do. I still have yet to measure a quilt before and after washing but that seems like a lot of shrinkage. Makes me want to automatically add more to any bed-sized quilts. It is interesting how the butterfly, by not shrinking, turned out like that! Ha!
Hi Rebecca! Before I completely forget, thank you for linking up for TGIFF and today. I love how the butterflies have puffed up. I love everything.single.thing about this quilt. I am also thrilled that Margot will love her special quilt, and I can just picture her using it as a cape. ~smile~ Roseanne
Such a happy quilt and I love the thought and work you put into the back as well! I love how the butterfly turned out after washing! Well done you! Have a safe and happy week!
Your Quilt is awesome...I'm sure Margot will love it.
Have a great day!
Lovely quilt, well done!!
Thanks for sharing!
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