This little project finished at about 46 inches square and ended up being both a learning project for me as well as a teaching quilt of sorts for the newbie quilters in our little quilt ministry, although it didn't start out that way. First, I had planned to finish it last summer - ha! A few bumps along the road, and some very dear grandbaby quilts took my attention for most of the fall, so here we are in the bleak midwinter with this cheerful interlude.
I had no idea at the beginning how this was going to be quilted - a rather traditional Carpenters Wheel block variation done up in decidedly modern rainbow-y fabrics. So I ditch quilted all the block seams and the peach stop border. Since I hadn't practiced any free-motion feathers in a long time, this seemed like a good place to practice those, and so I did, in all the setting triangles and corners, after first drawing a guide line for a spineless version of endless feathers.
This was where I first ran into issues with the quilting. A quick look at the back tells the story:
That said, I began looking for other options for quilting the outer borders. Since I've been experiencing a lot more shoulder and neck pain while free-motion quilting but considerably less when quilting with the even-feed foot, I decided to attempt a gentle curved continuous line stencil for the outer border using that foot. Also, most of the ladies in our quilt ministry group have machines that are reluctant to do any type of free-motion quilting, so if this experiment was a success I could also use it as a teaching quilt to show them some additional options for using their walking foot feature. So, here are the results of this experiment, which turned out surprisingly well I think.
Beginning the outer border
A closer look at the even-feed foot stitched borders.
Though the Carpenters Wheel block pieces should have additional quilting beyond the ditch quilting already done, I'm reluctant to do anything more because of the issues with the excess bulk of the block seams on the back. This little quilt was originally destined to become a summer table topper, though the youngest granddaughter has already attempted to claim it - twice! Eventually dear girl, eventually! That child has never seen a quilt she didn't want, and I love it!
Sunshine and shadow on an otherwise snowy day
And that wraps up January. Looking ahead I'm not seeing any finishes in the near future since nearly all my remaining projects will be bed-size and mostly hand quilted. Though I'm equally sure that some other little opportunities will beckon before long. A quilter's life is never dull, is it?