Saturday, January 1, 2011

My first completed quilt!

My mother-in-law is a big fan of lighthouses. Her house is full of little lighthouse models and lighthouse themed decor. So when I decided I wanted to make her a quilt for Christmas, I began to look for lighthouse-themed fabrics. Then I found a single yard of this on Etsy (forgot to take a before, so you can already see the quilting lines on it in this picture. Oops!):

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I really loved this fabric as it reminded me of a little new england town. (My husbands family lives in New Hampshire.) But I couldn't think of a way I wanted to cut this on a top that wouldn't destroy the picture or wasn't too simple. So I ended up deciding to use it on the back where I could leave it as one piece, and designed my own lighthouse-themed quilt top.

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I'm really pleased with how it came out. I love that it looks like a lighthouse, but uses blocks rather than a more literal applique.  If I did it again, however, I'd use yellow and white for the lights rather than two shades of yellow - it would make the lights seem brighter.  I also think this would look great using Kona Ash for the sashing and border instead of the blue, but the blue lent it a more traditional feel that I felt would go better with her home. The top is almost entirely Kona solids.

Here is the pieced back using that fabric I initially found:

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And here it is happily sitting on my mother-in-law's recliner:

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The lighting isn't the greatest, but that is what you get when you're in New Hampshire in the middle of winter. :)

It is quilted in straight lines along the blocks using a light grey thread. I didn't want to use blue as I thought it would look funny on the green back. If I knew how to FMQ better, I'd do water inspired FMQ in the sashing instead of straight lines, but I've never done any FMQ other than all over stippling and didn't have the time to practice. I made this quilt in less than 3 weeks (2 if you exclude hand finishing the binding when I could steal away after we got to my in-laws). Not bad for being sick. :)

I decided to use a ladder stitch instead of a whip stitch to finish off my binding because I liked the look, but it leaves me wondering - is there a specific reason people use whip stitch instead other than it being faster? 

Firsts:
  • Completed quilt (!!)
  • Machine quilting straight lines with my new walking foot.
  • Making my own starch from scratch.
  • Washing a quilt.

Things I learned making this quilt:
  • Don't just mix our cornstarch into cold water,  it doesn't suspend the same and leave a nasty white residue all over your fabric.
  • The above white residue does wash off when you are done. 
  • Just buy starch - making your own from cornstarch and water is a major hassle. ;)
  • Get a spray bottle that has a hand pump, not a finger pump - or you'll get a really sore index finger.
  • Put something under your ironing board when you steam iron in your starch - or your work surface will end up covered in starch residue.
  • (At least some brands of) furniture polish will remove starch residue from said table.
  • Make your blocks slightly larger than you intend the final block to be and then trim down. A couple of my house blocks were slightly narrower than they were supposed to be once sewn, and if I had cut my blue on the sides of the light a little wider than needed it would have been fine.
  • You can find some really cool old fabrics on Etsy. :)

<3 Kelsey

Linking up for Hoo's Got Talent. :)

5 comments:

  1. I like the nautical them - your stripes look so crisp! It seems you learned a LOT about starch too :)

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  2. Beautiful quilt! You did an amazing job. Thanks for linking to Fantabulous Friday!

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  3. Love it! Good work. Thanks for linking to Quiltstory!

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  4. I like the nautical them - your stripes look so crisp! It seems you learned a LOT about starch too :)

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  5. i love the design of this quilt. u did a beautiful job picking the colors. thanks for sharing it with us @eileensideways on twitter

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