28 April 2013

Another Finish: And-it's-not-even-my-birthday-Birthday Cake

Next in the "out of my head and onto my bed" category:  a take on Elizabeth Hartman's "Birthday Cake" from her Oh, Fransson! blog.  The original was done in blue and grey.  I decided to go for birthday-cake-appropriate pinks and browns:

Ta da!

This quilt finish has been a looooong time coming, worked on in fits and turns here and there over nearly three years.  I started cutting fabric for it at Christmastime in 2010, during Snowpocalypse 2.

From there began the slow process of piecing blocks.  Piles of them.  The original pattern is for a small quilt, but I decided I wanted it bed-sized, so I doubled it.  And spent a lot of time cursing myself for doing so.  At least I finally figured out chain piecing!


Then I took the blocks to work to lay them out (confounding some of my co-workers in the process, no doubt) and then I pieced them together.

I found a nice backing at the Crate and Barrel outlet near me, where bolts of Marimekko are frequently on super sale.  I wanted something quiet for the back since the front was going to be so riotous.  I picked a pretty pink ombre and pieced it together to have the darkest strip in the middle.

Then back to work on a Saturday to sandwich, again surprising co-workers.  I don't like sandwiching on carpet, I found. 

Then...it sat.  and sat and sat.  I didn't know what to do for quilting, and I don't have a machine that makes quilting very fun or easy.  quilting is SCARY.

First I tried a lattice pattern.  That was tiresome to the max!  I tried to mark lines with painters tape and it was tedious, tedious, tedious. 

After a long while, I ripped the diagonals out and decided to just go with roughly straight, roughly parallel lines to mimic the linear patterns, but with no regular spacing and no drawing to break things up a little.  (And to keep my stress levels down.)

My machine is left-needle (you can see it here) which makes finding feet difficult.  I had to find an open-toe walking foot to get one to work at all! (and no, I don't quilt in the dark.)
It took me several months.  Wrestling with a bed quilt under a machine is no joke, even with a sturdy machine and a cabinet to rest some of the weight on.  The bulk and weight of the quilt makes regular stitches hard to accomplish.

But I did finish, after many many nights of football, and decide to bind with a nice lime green--as it turned out, a number of the fabrics I'd used had lime green accents.  I tried machine binding for speed.  It was...ok but I had to go back and redo several places.

I even made a little label!

I embroidered it (don't look too close at those stitches!) and everything.  Then I sewed it on by hand.  I decided that rather than whipstitching I'd do a running stitch in pink.  I still might do a whipstitch to keep those corners firmly down, but for now I'm ok. 

Yippee!  Now I can take my down comforter to the cleaners...


Maura said...

this is AMAZING. and I love your signature!!!

Jessica said...

You go, girl! It looks lovely :)! Look at you with all of these finishes!

miss kate said...

y'all are FAST. OMG. (Extra amusing considering it's a post about a quilt that took me 2.5 years to finish!)

Anyhow, many thanks to you both. Jess, I'll try to remember to bring it on Tuesday. I suppose I should show something eventually. lol.


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