Thursday, March 4, 2021

Party At My House, Y'All! C'Mon and Link Up your TGIFF Finishes!

Hello and HAPPY FRIDAY, everyone!  If you've come looking for the Thank Goodness It's FINISHED Friday Linky Party, welcome -- you're in the right place.  I'm delighted to be hosting this week's finish party.  

I'm so excited to share my finish this week.  I know I say this a lot, but I found another new favorite edge-to-edge quilting design that I am crushing on this week: 

37 x 37 HST Baby Quilt with Echo Bubble Meander E2E

This 37" x 37" quilt top was pieced by a fellow member of the Charlotte Quilters' Guild for our Outreach Committee, and it will be donated to one of the NICUs at our local hospitals.  When I was first given this top for quilting, I considered custom quilting it with individual motifs in each of the white triangle units.  However, once I had the quilt top in my studio and was thinking about where this quilt was headed and it's job of comforting and encouraging a tiny, fragile baby and his worried parents, custom quilting just seemed too formal and too stiff -- literally too stiff, potentially, if it was heavily custom quilting, but too rigid psychologically as well.  I wanted this quilt to be soft and cuddly, playful and fun.   And then I found this Echo Bubble Meander E2E (Edge-to-Edge) quilting design by Joyce Lundrigan of Methodist Hill Quilt Studio, and knew it would be perfect to bring positive energy and love to the family who receives it.

The After Quilting Photo

I love to do Before and After pictures with quilting because I know it's difficult to envision the way the choice quilting designs can impact a quilt if you never saw the unquilted top or "flimsy."  So, here's what this particular quilt top looked like prior to quilting:

The Before Quilting Photo

Interesting, right?  There's a great mix of fabrics in the triangle patches, lots of blues and greens that I'm guessing were chosen because the hospitals are always telling us they need "more boy quilts" (that's a topic for another day).  But some of those darker navy and purple patches are REALLY dark, like, borderline somber.  I wanted to emphasize the bright clover greens and watery turquoise colors, and the fun juvenile vibe of the polka dots, and minimize the impact of those darker fabrics so there's not a hint of melancholy for those worried parents in the NICU.  

Quilting Makes a Difference

Did you know that a quilting design could do that -- alter the mood of a quilt, course-correct a choice the maker may have regretted, or just play up the maker's favorite things about the quilt by making those aspects more prominent through the quilting?    Two identical quilt tops can look completely different, depending on how they're quilted.  That's why I can never answer "What quilting design would look good on this quilt?" without knowing why the quilt was made and for whom it was made.  Had this been a wall quilt going over the sofa in a modern apartment, I might have chosen to play up those strong geometric piecing lines with a custom ruler work for maximum visual impact from a distance.  

E2E Quilting in Glide thread, color Celery

For this quilt's purpose, I am delighted with how the quilting turned out.  I think it looks like "Hooray -- a little boy is born!  Soon we will take him home, and then we will all have SO MUCH FUN together!"  The circles or bubbles or whatever remind me of marbles racing along a track, like a toy that he might like to play with some day.  

Thread Color: Glide in Celery

I chose Glide thread in a pale green called Celery to make sure the quilting design would be prominent against the white background fabric, blend into the mid tone blue/green fabrics, and temper the severity of those deep, dark fabrics that were potentially too gloomy.  When you scroll back and forth between the Before and After photos, pay special attention to those super dark blue and purple patches, and notice how different they look with the curvy lines and bubbles quilted through them.  

[Side note: When I first bought my long arm machine in 2017, I received much well-intentioned advice that I really only needed thread in neutral colors like white, beige and  gray.  This must be one of those "your mileage may vary" things, because I almost ALWAYS find a thread color that I like better for a quilt than those Sensible Basic Options!  The amassing of Every Thread Color shall continue...]

Still Soft and Smooshy After Quilting

Technically, my "finish" isn't a complete finish, since the quilt has yet to be bound.  I volunteer my time to quilt several tops each month for the guild that have been pieced by other members, and then they are passed along to another quilter who will label and bind them.  It's an efficient system that enables our guild to keep up with the level of need in our growing metropolitan community, and I am pretty sure that a quilt made by three different pairs of hands has three times as much love packed between the quilt layers anyway.

My Work Here Is Done: Passed Along to the Next Guild Member for Binding

Those of you who have been with me for a few years know that I have a tendency to, um, overcomplicate things a bit with my personal quilting projects...  Cough, cough, avoiding eye contact...  😉.   Even baby quilts, for goodness sake!  This project is a great reminder to ME that a quilt does not have to be super complicated or super custom in order to be beautiful or in order to be a blessing to those who receive it.  I love this baby quilt just as much as I love some of the others I've made that were so convoluted; I barely got the quilt in the mail before the "baby" was headed off to kindergarten!  So I'm stowing this idea away in the back of my brain for the next baby shower on my horizon.    This quilting design looks amazing on simple piecing.  Since the Echo Bubble Meander design has no backtracking, I'm also looking forward to trying it out with an even showier thread next time, like maybe King Tut variegated 40 weight cotton thread against solid quilt top fabrics?

And of course, if YOU (or any of your quilting friends) have a quilt top hanging around your sewing room that you'd like to cross off your UFO list, whether you're thinking about custom quilting, edge-to-edge, or you're just not sure, I'd love to help you quilt your quilt across the finish line.  You can learn more about my quilting services by clicking the Long Arm Quilting Services tab at the top of my blog, or by clicking here.

I do have one other baby quilt finish I'd like to share with all of you today, one that was shared with me by another quilter:

Justice Ginsburg Baby Quilt Made by Anita Dutrow

Anita wrote:

I had to share with you the baby quilt I made using your RBG quilt block.  My daughter, who does not sew or quilt, sent me a picture of your RBG block, thinking it was an entire quilt, and asked me to make it as a baby quilt for a friend. The momma-to-be is an OB-GYN, all about Girl Power!
My husband had to help me with the math, lol, I really should have paid better attention in Geometry class.  The glasses were machine embroidered and then attached by hand.
I am thrilled with the finished quilt! Baby Grave arrived this week, her momma loved the quilt. 
Thank you for the creating and sharing this quilt block!

Anita Dutrow

In case you missed it, this is my Notorious R.B.G . quilt block that Anita's daughter stumbled across in one of my previous blog posts:

I love it SO MUCH when I hear that I've inspired someone else to create something!  🥰. I think Anita's baby quilt looks fantastic and her email made my day.  Thank you, Anita!  If you missed that post and want to learn more about my R.B.G. block, see this post.  And if anyone else wants the foundation paper piecing pattern for this block, just shoot me an email and I'll send you the PDF for free.

And now, without further ado (because we've all had QUITE ENOUGH ado already) -- it's time for the linky party!  I want to see ANY finish you're proud of this week, whether it's a completely finished quilt, a finished flimsy, or even one block.  If you didn't finish a quilt but finished a garment or a knitting project or any other craft, go on and link that up, too.  Spread the word to any of your quilting/crafting peeps so they can link up, too -- I will love you EVEN MORE when you share me with your friends.

In addition to hosting TGIFF today, I'm also linking up with my other fave Friday link parties:         Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric AddictPeacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and MoreFinished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts; & Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre.  Next week's TGIFF party will be hosted by my friend Sandra over at MMMQuilts.  I hope to see you there next Friday!

PSST!!  I'd Love to Quilt for YOU!

By the way, if you or any of your quilty friends has a quilt top or two that needs quilting, I'd be delighted to quilt for you!  My turnaround for edge-to-edge quilting is currently running about 2 weeks, and you can click here to find out how to book your quilt with me.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

well not a finish of a whole quilt here but caught up through March on two of my RSC213 quilts - your quilting looks wonderful said...

Terrific quilting design and so appropriate for the action that quilt is going to see! I too am amassing a quantity of thread. . .it seems I too deviate a lot from white, beige and grey! Thanks for hosting a linkey party!

Gretchen Weaver said...

The quilting on the baby quilt is really cute, love the bubbles! Happy stitching!

Kathy S. said...

Wow! The quilting is fantastic! I'm crushing on that design too now. LOVE the celery thread color as well. Beautiful work.

Bonnie said...

Echo Bubble Meander is a great design. It looks wonderful on the quilt. Great job of picking a design that was just right for the quilt. And, who would have thought Celery green would look so good with all those fabrics. (Why, yes, Rebecca Grace knew!) I have to admit that I don't like custom quilting on my quilts. I admire them on others but I really like my quilts to be soft, snuggly and used by the recipients. That said I definitely think you do wonderful work on your quilts and they look fabulous in the end.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

I totally agree, quilting makes such a difference. I think your decision was a great one, love those bubbles.

Vicki in MN said...

I am always amazed at how much quilting makes the quilt even after 17 years of long arm quilting! Beautiful finish to this fun but simple quilt.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Wow, love the quilting design you came up with, Rebecca! A perfect amount of optimism and fun!!! Thanks for hosting the party!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

What a happy Quilt!!!! and the quilting is awesome!! Love that panto!! you chose well!

Sherrie said...

Your quilt is's amazing how the
quilting changes the look. Have a great day!

Anne-Marie said...

Love the quilting design--I was not familiar with that one before. Nice work!

Kathleen said...

That quilting design is so much fun! Thanks for hosting TGIFF!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca the baby quilt edge to edge pattern is so whimsical and fun! Perfect in combination with this cute, scrappy quilt. I love the color palette she chose.

And how cool that your RBG block is being used in a baby quilt! How inspiring! I hope she’ll send you a pic of the entire quilt. I’d love to see it.


The Joyful Quilter said...

Super cute quilting design, Rebecca!!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

What a beautiful finish, Rebecca! I love the celery Glide thread. It's perfect for this quilt! The quilting is perfect for it too!

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

Such a fun, cheerful quilt , Rebecca and your quilting is amazing. Thank you so much for hosting the link party.

Mari said...

Love it! Who doesn't need some cheer right now? And I love the RBG quilt, too!

Gwyned Trefethen said...

Your eye for selecting the perfect quilt pattern and thread is impressive. You took function and appearance into account. I love how the design implies a baby being enveloped in the arms of a loving adult. Brings tears of joy to my eyes.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Your quilting design is perfect for this quilt! Well done!

Kate said...

The thread does really make a difference on those more somber colored blocks. Even though I don't do my own quilting, it's nice to learn about some of the tricks like that so I know what's possible when I send a quilt out for quilting. The baby quilt turned out beautifully. Love the RBG quilt and block. Too fun!

dq said...

I can see why you are loving this new design. It was a wonderful choice for this quilt, but then, you are amazing at selecting the perfect pattern for quilting!

Preeti said...

RBG has been an icon and you RG are an inspiration!!!

Embroidery Digitizing said...

The quilting is fantastic!, i just love it. Many thanks