Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Orange Crush - DONE!

So, by now you must be looking at all of these posts and wondering what exactly my contribution to the show was.

I submitted two quilts.  One was my quilt, The Dance, which was also my submission to the Bloggers Quilt Festival.

I also worked right up to the very last minute (I know, you're stunned) to finish Gracie's quilt, my Orange Crush!  Can you believe it?  It was worth every minute to see it hanging in the show.

After all of the mistakes, all my stress with free motion quilting, and two and a half years, it is DONE. Done done...with a label!

In case you haven't been keeping pace with the many, many mistakes on this quilt, here's a retrospective.
And some I didn't even tell you about.  I guess I mentioned that Ben was going to hand dye a back for me.  That took awhile in itself because the weather this spring refused to cooperate (can you believe we were complaining about the long, cold winter?).  Once I finally got it, basted the quilt, and quilted the middle, I decided I didn't want to waste an inch of that beautiful fabric and I would bind the quilt with the leftovers.

Silly me...I decided to rip instead of cut so I'd get the straightest strips possible.  Yeah, I didn't count on the fact that I hadn't basted it perfectly straight, so I ended up ripping a slim strip off the edge of the quilt back.  It took me awhile to figure out how to go back and piece that!

Then, when I washed it, two small spots of color ran.  Luckily the quilt is so busy that you'd never even notice...except, of course, I do.

And when I washed it, I noticed one small place where the binding pulled away a little.  I still have to go back and fix that.

I did learn several things from all of my mistakes, and I think I also managed to figure out my free motion quilting issue.  I stalked the blog/website of my latest quilt crush, Leah Day, trying all of her tips, until I stumbled upon the one about thread.  She doesn't use cotton thread!  Whodathunkit?

I didn't use the Isacord that she suggests, because I was running out of time to order something online, but I did have great luck with the Gutermann machine embroidery thread (can't find a link, but it is 100% viscose, which is apparently a euphemism for rayon).  I also took the suggestion of one of the WannaBees to try an embroidery needle.  I did both of these things at once, so I don't know if it was one or the other, or the combination of the two that worked.  All I can say is that I had NO thread breakage for the entire border, and no messy bobbin thread nests on the back.  It was a beautiful thing!

Thanks to Leah, I was able to get my FMQ groove back, and used her Beaded Curtain design for my borders.  Just one more sign that this quilt was meant for my girl, because guess what one of her favorite birthday presents was?

It's a sign, I tell you.

But now it's done and I love it.  Gracie loves it.  And did I mention it's done?  So it's all good!

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