Monday, February 13, 2017

Forced to Improvise

I have seen a lot of challenges to get UFO's (Unfinished Objects) finished this year and I like that idea.  The idea is to make a list of 12 projects and try to finish one each month.  So the UFO project for the month of February isn't really one of mine, but it is something I said I would do for my mom. My job is to quilt it!

 Here's my mama!  Doesn't she look young?  I bet you can't guess how old she is!  To be fair, this picture was taken three years ago but I bet you still can't guess!  

Someone gave her a bunch of scrap fabric and she hand cut them (no rotary) into squares and sewed them up into a little throw quilt.


Mom and I went shopping for some fabric to put on the back and asked for help in calculating how much fabric we would need to have enough backing.  It's a real cute calico with yellow background and pink and blue flowers.  It goes very nice with the pastel colors mom used on her quilt.


I've had the fabric and batting here for a while and decided this is the month I will finish.  So I began preparing the backing to put on and was exasperated to find out that the piece of backing we bought is not big enough!  Grrr.   So I knew I would need to figure out something to enlarge the back and cut the backing into two pieces so I could sew some additional fabric down the middle.  I don't know how in the world I managed it, but I sliced that back into four pieces!  Oh great!  Now what?  I had a bunch of calico charm squares that I had purchased a long time ago so I decided to do this:


I actually kind of like this!  So tonight, I got this all basted together and ready to quilt.  For the quilting, I am going to attempt to do a version of a feathered swirl that I saw Vicki from Vicki's Crafts and Quilting do on one of her quilts.

First step was to practice on paper.  Somehow, it just doesn't look like what I was envisioning.  I finally contacted Vicki (thanks so much for the guidance, Vicki!) and was hoping she could give me some pointers so we exchanged a few e-mails back and forth and I showed her what I was trying to do.  This was kind of the idea of the pattern I wanted to do but it wasn't right and I didn't know why.  Vicki suggested I make the beginning of the swirl more C shaped instead of the bullseye looking shape I was doing.
So here is my next attempt with less tight swirls and the designs are starting to fit together a little better; however, Vicki had one more piece of advice for me and that was not to leave the feather ends hanging out in space as shown where the arrows are.

So I tried one more time with to make the feathers actually connect to something.  I think I'm getting a little bit closer now to what I wanted to do.  Still needs some work though.  I'll practice a bit more.  It's not quite there.


Now, next step is to quilt this on a practice sandwich and make sure to make the designs LARGE.  I have a habit of quilting too densely and I want to practice leaving bigger spaces.  So that is my goal for tomorrow.

I am hoping to have a finish to show you this week!


P.S.  Don't forget about the Blog Hop sign up.  You can read about that here!  So far we have 19 quilters signed up!  We'd love to have you join in the fun!

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16 comments:

  1. I have a quilt for my mum on my to do list aswell and it also will need a pieced backing! However, she just wants a stipple design all over it so the quilting will be easily done. Love your drawings - with all the practice with pen and paper you will be getting that muscle memory entrenched in no time. Look forward to seeing this quilted .... this month!!!

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  2. It's looking really good Janice!! Just remember to touch, or pretty close to touching, the end of the first feather to the C swirl and then the rest seem to fall into their place too. So proud of your practice!! Can't wait to see it on the quilt! I think you and your mom have the same smile.

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  3. Think this will look so good on your mom's quilt. Thanks for sharing Vicki's advice with us and your process as you practice the design. I need to get better at doing all over designs on quilt tops. I struggle with scale and not making things too small. Or starting out with a good size design and gradually letting it get smaller as I go.

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  4. If you didn't tell us the story of the quartered piece of fabric I would have thought you chose that design on purpose. It looks great. Good luck on your quilting. The design looks great.

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  5. Adjust and keep moving forward! That is usually my motto. Your quilting is looking fabulous. I do something similar and find it easier for me to just make two feather shapes. It is going to look great!

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  6. I love the way you salvaged the back of the quilt Janice, very clever. I love seeing the way your quilting design has developed, looks like you have it now and I'm looking forward to seeing it on the quilt.

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  7. The back of that quilt is just perfect. I love when things work out just right like that!
    Those swirl feathers will be great on that quilt. Good choice!

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  8. This is going to be so sweet when it's finished! Your Mom is lucky to have you sharing your talents to get her quilt finished :)

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  9. The back turned out perfectly for your mom's quilt. The feathered swirl design will be so pretty on the quilt. Your mom will love it.

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  10. I like the back you made so much I just might have to steal that idea. I'm sure your heart skipped a beat when you discovered the cut, but your improv is just right. Have fun with those feathers!

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  11. Well done for taking this project on. Looks like you are well on your way to getting started on the quilting - I'm sure your mum will be thrilled to receive it! Thanks for linking up with #scraptastictuesday

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  12. I must tell you I love your quilting squiggles. They look just like mine! I can't draw worth a darn - all my lines have little bumps and zags. But some way or another, when I get to quilting, it all evens out. Love the process, and the quilting will flow. So, how old is your mom? I'm guessing 82.

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  13. I LOVE your mom's quilt and the sweet backing that you found for it!
    I love the idea of cutting the backing and adding squares, infact I have been planning to finish my batiks quilt just that way! Seeing yours makes me want to do it like, right now! lol
    Your mom looks great and so sweet! No matter her age- just tell her she looks 60! =D

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  14. Sorry you had a cutting error, but now you have a creative backing. Good luck with your quilting plan.

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  15. A great solution to your backing dilemma. It's amazing how challenging getting the back right can be.

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  16. I love scrappy quilt backings. Yours looks great, so much more interesting than a sheet of flowered fabric. I make a lot of pieced backings and have made ones similar to yours. They take mire time and effort ( & while you're sewing it up you're wondering why you are spending time doing it but in the end you're pleased with the result!). Hope the quilting goes well. You are certainly putting in a great deal of effort.

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