Thursday, October 7, 2021

I'm Hosting TGIFF This Weekend! Let's Get This Finishing Party Started!

Hello, and happy (almost) Friday! I'm delighted to be hosting TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finally Finished) Friday linky party again this week. I feel like this is the Quilt Blogging Equivalent of hosting SNL (Saturday Night Live).  Just like the SNL guest hosts, I even have "musical guests" to announce, because both of my sons will be home from college for a 4-day "Fall Break" weekend and I've volunteered their bass voices up to my choir director.  At least I didn't volunteer them to be acolytes and crucifers at the early service...  Mwahahaha!!!  ðŸ˜‡

However, unlike the guest hosts of SNL, I don't have a monologue full of witty political jokes and I'm not here to promote my newest film.  Lucky for all of you!  

Alright, so let's get on with it!  I have two beautiful client finishes plus one small personal finish to share with you today:

#1: Liz's Deco Baby Finish

46 x 52 Deco Baby Quilt with Orange Zest E2E Quilting

When Deco quilts (a new pattern from Lo & Behold Stitchery, available here) started popping up in my Instagram feed a month or two ago, I was instantly smitten with the unusual layout and dramatic impact of the Art Deco-inspired piecing design.  I am loving this quilt in EVERY colorway, EVERY rendition that I've seen so far.  So I was DELIGHTED when my client Liz (on Instagram as @lovelizziee) reached out to me to quilt her baby size Deco quilt for her.  

Orange Zest E2E Stitched in Glide Thread, Apricot Blush

The quilting design we chose is Orange Zest by Karlee Porter and I quilted it in Glide thread, Apricot Blush color.  The batting is Quilter's Dream Bamboo.  Here's the Before photo of Liz's quilt top prior to quilting:

46 x 52 Deco Baby Top Before Quilting

Thank you for choosing me to quilt this for you, Liz!  I know I'm going to have to make this pattern for myself one of these days, when (if!) I ever get caught up on all of my other projects... I did notice, when I was finding the pattern link to share with all of you, that the pattern designer is running a Quilt-Along for Deco Throw Quilt starting on October 18th, so if anyone wants to jump on that bandwagon, details can be found here.

#2: Kathy's 25-Year-Old UFO Finish

96 x 92 HST Quilt with Baptist Fan E2E 

And OH MY GOSH, you guys -- the story behind THIS quilt finish ought to inspire you!  Fine artist Kathy Collins (on Instagram as @kathycollinsart) started piecing this large bed quilt from 2" HSTs (half square triangles) back in the early 1990s, before I even knew how to thread a sewing machine, let alone quilt with one.  She was determined to make a handmade bed quilt for her bed, so she finished the top, marked straight lines with whatever kind of marking pencil was recommended at the quilt shop, and started hand quilting... Until she would get tired of it and set it aside.  And then she would get it out again and start working on it again EVENTUALLY...

Well, after 25 years of this off-and-on hand quilting, Kathy realized a couple things.  First, she realized that she did not enjoy hand quilting.  And second, she realized that she would probably never get to enjoy using this quilt on her bed unless she found someone else to finish it for her.

This is what Kathy's partially-quilted quilt looked like when she brought it to me several weeks ago:

Partially Hand Quilted with Diagonal Lines Through HSTs

After meeting with me and discussing options, Kathy took the quilt home, took out all of those safety pins, and ripped out ALL of the hand quilting stitches she'd put in the quilt over the years.  Can you imagine?  Talk about parting ways with something that isn't working for you, and taking a leap of faith in a new direction!  The polyester batting she had purchased in the early '90s is very different from what we use today and wasn't suitable for long arm quilting, so we started over with a brand-new, solid white backing and Quilter's Dream 80/20 cotton/poly batting for a nice, traditional look with just the right amount of loft and puckering once the quilt is washed for the first time.

Baptist Fan E2E Stitched in So Fine Thread, Color Snow, 60 wt Glide in Bobbin

I recommended the Baptist Fan quilting design because it's such a staple of antique quilts.  Today we tend to think of edge to edge quilting designs as a modern choice and custom quilting as more traditional, but there are plenty of examples of antique hand quilted quilts with Baptist Fan quilting very similar to what I did with my long arm machine for Kathy.  I used So Fine in color Snow in my needle because it's a fine, lightweight thread with a matte finish.  I wanted the actual thread of the quilting stitches to be subtle for this one, and just see the beautiful vintage fabrics and the texture of the quilting design more than the stitches.  That also makes it less obvious, when you first look at the quilt, that the quilting was done by machine rather than hand stitched.  

Machine Binding Stitched with Aurifil 50/2, Pink in Needle and White in Bobbin

Since Kathy has completely moved away from quilting to other creative pursuits, she asked me to complete her quilt with machine stitched binding as well so it would be totally finished and ready to put on her bed when she picked it up.  I like Aurifil 50 weight 2-ply cotton thread for my machine bindings, matching the needle thread (pink) to the binding fabric and matching my bobbin thread (white) to the backing fabric.

I am so inspired by Kathy's attitude about this quilt.  I love that she was able to take stock of the project, see that working on the hand quilting was no longer bringing her joy and realize that she didn't want to be using her precious creative time for "guilt-quilting" anymore just so she could say that she finished what she'd started.  Moreover, instead of just donating the project as-is or throwing it out, I love that she was able to reimagine how she could salvage the part she'd completed and enjoyed (the fabric selection, cutting, piecing, and layout of the quilt), and then seek out a collaborator to finish the quilt so that she could actually use it.  I think that kind of flexible thinking must come from her art background -- the work needs to serve the artist, you know?  The artist isn't here to serve the artwork!

#3: Heartbroken Mini Quilt, Made Entirely by MOI

24 x 24 "Heartbroken" Improv Mini Quilt with Rose Texture B2B Quilting

Finally, in case you missed this when I posted it on Monday, my most recent personal finish is this Valentine's Day scrappy improv mini quilt that I made for Kelly Young's blog hop to promote her latest book.  You can read more about that one here.  

Those are my finishes to share this week.  Now it's time for you to show me what you've finished up recently!  Whether it's a completely finished project, a finished flimsy, or just a finished block, we'd all love to see it.  I'll also be linking up todays's post with some of my other favorite linky parties: Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric AddictPeacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More, Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to BeautyFinished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts, Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie SayreFrédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué, and Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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!  I won't be accepting any more custom quilts in 2021, but I do have a couple spots still available for edge-to-edge quilting for holiday gifting.  Click here to find out how to book your quilt with me.


Jenny K. Lyon said...

I love what you did on the deco quilt and I never would have thought of that pattern. And Cathy's story, enjoyed reading about her long journey with her quilt. Love me a Baptist Fan, it always looks good.

Gretchen Weaver said...

Kathy's quilt is beautiful! So nice she gets to use the quilt now, your quilting is excellent, happy stitching!

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

that is nice that the quilt is finished now - it is too bad though that she didn't realize that just 15 minutes a day of hand quilting and she could have finished it herself - but it must have been something that she really found she detested to not be able to do that. I'm glad she is able to now use it and you did a really great job with it.

Sandy said...

I love both of these, as well as your own finished quilt, Rebecca Grace. That design from Lo & Behold is one I've been eyeing for a future project; I've done two of her designs already (gifts for grandchildren) and like how well they come together.

Barb N said...

I'm in the midst of making a king-sized Deco quilt for our bed. OMG. For some reasons I can't fathom, I have had a heck of a time with the 1" square blocks. My spatial reasoning when it comes to stitching them together has been off, and I've used my seam ripper more than I care to share. But I still think it will be a beautiful quilt when it's finished. It's fun to see your customer's baby quilt. Which Baptist Fan pattern did you use on the HST quilt? The ones I have don't nest as neatly as yours. That quilter's story is inspiring.

Darlene S said...

Finishes are always worth celebrating and what a fun way to celebrate. I just wish I had a finish to share. The quilts you showcased are all amazing, with stunning freemotion quilting. But I'm blown away with Liz's Deco Baby Finish. Brilliant design and FMQ. Absolutely brilliant.

Kris said...

Your machine binding is perfection!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Well Heck fire!! you had a very busy week - love all your finishes!!!

Bonnie said...

Perfect choice of the Baptist fans for the quilt that looks antique... (The 90's aren't antiques yet, are they?)

Preeti said...

That Deco Quilt is so sinful that it would tempt the most saintly among us. No surprise you fell to its charms, Rebecca. I am sure you will make it your own - absolutely spectacular!!!

dq said...

I just love the perfection that you are your machine can attain!