Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Finished!

While spending a couple of weeks working on other projects, I contemplated how to quilt Night Before Christmas. My quandary was how to quilt the border, knowing that I planned to have a wandering feathered vine in all of the 4-inch wide sashings. I worried that more feathered vines in the border would overwhelm the face of the quilt.

As designers, we all have to consider combinations of options, our personal capabilities, and the tools at hand. I finally used a plastic overlay and "practiced" several different quilt designs on the quilt border -- from a wavy ribbons to straight lines, to evergreen trees. Despite my concerns, I decided that the best way to quilt the border was to stitch more feathered vines, and when a package arrived in the mail with the perfect color of olive-green thread, I loaded the quilt on my machine and started quilting away. Quilting -- whether by hand or machine -- is such wonderful therapy for me. It combines creativity, design, and productivity in one package, while allowing me to mull over schedules, issues, future plans, and whatever else is on my mind. Days spent quilting are totally relaxing for me!

So it's time for the "reveal." I don't have a full-size photo of Night Before Christmas to show you yet - but here are two semi-closeups so you can see how I quilted the sashings and borders. I had planned to hand-quilt the interior of the blocks because of the embellishments in them, but as it turns out, I was able to machine quilt the entire quilt. Woo hoo! It's finished! And here it is:

I'm elated that the quilt is done - except for that all-important label. That will be added in the morning....

Happy stitching, everyone!

(c)2008 Susan H. Garman


Sandra said...

Sue, your quilting is beautiful. How did you mark the feather design or did you just free motion quilt it?

Raedene said...

The quilting is spectacular, just as is the appliqué. My second block arrived and I can't wait to get started.

Peddlecar Quilts said...

Sue, your quilting is just georgeous! I love the feathered vines and your intricate quilting is just too beautiful. I have been longarm quilting for 1 year, and am always learning, and you are an inspiration for sure!! Thanks for sharing!

Sue Garman said...

How do I mark the feather design on my quilts? In this case, I used two different methods. For the feathered vine in the sashing, I used a template for the spine of the vine -- it is too hard (for me) to otherwise do a double line spine and keep the lines evenly spaced. The template lets me keep the lines of the spine parallel, and then I just freehand the feathers, themselves (think "half of a heart" when you make feathers). As for the feathered vine in the border, it has no spine in it - the feathers just tumble into one another in the vine. I mark a line using a white chalk pencil (I use a plain old mechanical pencil with a light hand on white/off-white fabrics) and then just free-hand the feathers along that line. I'll post something in my blog later this week, showing how I mark and make my feathers. There isn't a lot of magic about it -- it's just practice, practice, practice!