Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Basting Complete!

My batting order arrived a few days ago, and today was the day:  preshrink and fluff the batting, clear out the living room for adequate work space, vacuum most of the dog and kitty fur off the carpet, set up ironing board, starch and iron the backing and top, then on my hands and knees for a couple of hours pin-basting this queen size (86 x 110") beast!
The top and back have been pieced and awaiting quilting for well over a year.  I loved this quilt from the first time I saw it on the cover of the fall 2004 issue of Quilt Sampler.  The pattern is called Dream Catcher, but I'm calling my version Tropical Sunrise.    This top has over 1,250 pieces - yep, I counted them!   Originally I had planned to hand quilt this one, but after reading about the difficulties involved in hand quilting batik fabrics, especially when the backing fabric is also batik,  I've opted to free motion quilt it.  Hope to begin the ditch stitching tomorrow or Thursday, and will spend March and probably most of April with the FMQ and binding.  This one is slated to be a wedding gift.

I've also been making some slow progress on the little angel quilt that was one of my January NewFO projects.   Did some background FMQ work this morning.  A little more on the bottom section tomorrow, then will need to decide whether to add any quilting in the borders.  At this point I'm thinking the borders which will finish at 1 1/4" will remain unquilted, but we'll see.   My major quandry right now is what to do with that plaid dress.  The homespun type fabric is quite thick and stiff, especially with the fusible backing.  Now that the batting and quilt back are added and everything is outline quilted, that skirt has way too much pouf and sagging.  I first thought I might add embroidered little daisies in each of the squares to try to flatten out that area, but that didn't turn out well and they were ripped out immediately.  I'd like to avoid free motion quilting this area, though that may end up being the only workable option.   I might also try using embroidery floss and tying the skirt at each little blue square corner of the plaid.  Anyway, here's what it looks like at the moment.  For those who might not have seen my previous post, this little angel was directly inspired by a larger angel hanging by Ulla of Ulla's Quiltworld blog.   The embroidered birds and vines are from a 1976 Dover Needlework Series book entitled Peasant Iron-on Transfer Patterns by Ed Sibbett, Jr., found at a recent quilters estate sale.

And, in the ongoing saga of the sixteen-year quilt, I took the hoop off this queen size senior citizen this afternoon and spread it out on the floor after the other basting project was completed.  Here's where this one sits now - see all those wrinkly green setting triangles?  Those are the LAST of the major areas still awaiting hand quilting.  I'm thinking if major miracles happen, this one might just finally get finished this year.  Don't hold your breath ... I'm not.   The last stitch on the binding of this one's going to be so sweet.  This pattern is called Biblical Blocks and is from Rosemary Mahan's book of the same name.  This one is like the proverbial albatross, and may be the last quilt this large that I try to hand quilt.   My next one slated for hand quilting is a throw size Civil War era pattern, yet to be pieced, so no pressure there.  
So that's what has been happening here this week.  What have you been up to today?


  1. Tropical Sunrise is gorgeous!
    I love that little angel block. So sweet.
    I have that same Biblical Blocks book. I have used the center medallion a couple of times, and have used some of the blocks in quilts, but I have never made one just like it is in the book. It is a beautiful quilt!

  2. I just love your Tropical Sunrise! Such perky colors - I can smell the rich flower scents from here :*) That is how I usually baste my quilts too, that's why so many of them are still not basted. I hate it!!! Love your sweet little angel - tying her dress may be just the ticket. And that Bible quilt - wowee! What a beast! I certainly understand why you'd like to get this one done. Sixteen years is too long to keep up the interest in working on any quilt!

  3. Those are beautiful quilts. You're very ambitious with your quilting...both hand and free motion.

  4. They're all wonderful, but I really love Tropical Sunrise, batiks and the colors make it gorgeous. What a great wedding gift.

  5. That little homespun dress might work out with some stitching just on the 'grid' lines. Love the "Sunrise" quilt. That is one that caught my eye when the mag. appeared on the newstands, too. Good choice to do the 'machine thing' as batiks, though not impossible, are a challenge for the handquilter...especially in that size. It's one of the reasons I went to the machine for quilting. Great post!! Blessings, Doreen

    1. I tried tying the tiny blue corner squares of the plaid this morning, and since I didn't immediately remove it, I guess the jury's still out. The next option will be to stitch just on the grid lines as you suggested Doreen. Thanks for your input!

  6. I love your Tropical Sunrise!!! OH my, it is beautiful!!! Have fun quilting it, your arms are going to be a bit tired on that one, but what a treasure!!! The angel is adorable!!! And good luck on your senior citizen :^) I have plenty of those waiting in line too!!! Take care!!

  7. What a beautiful quilt and I think FMQ will look wonderful on it!

  8. What a fantastic quilt. Just wonderful.

    Greetings from Germany, Grit


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