Sunday, June 22, 2014

Val's Quilt

My little sister turned 18 today. Just writing that out feels so wrong, I just can't believe it. My parents adopted her from an orphanage in Belarus when she was a year old and she joined our family like she owned us. She is stubborn, loyal, generous, and strong, and I have loved her with my whole heart from day one. 

She chose her favorite colors for her quilt from my Kona color card: caribbean, berry, black, and white. This may actually be too much white for her, and I probably should have added some skulls;) Other than that, it is so "her".

My machine has a small throat and it has often made me shy away from bigger quilts, or at least determined how I would quilt them. But this time I really wanted to echo quilt the stars, yet knew that turning this size quilt that many times would be torture. So I decided to try quilting it in two parts. Below you can see the top half, basted and ready to go. (I baste very sparsely and never use a walking foot - somehow it always works for me.)


After I quilted both halves, which turned out to be so very easy, you can see below how I sewed them together on the front of the quilt, then trimmed the batting pieces to just touch each other.

Then I whipped-stitched the pieces together. Not sure this provided more stability, but it made me feel better.

Then I trimmed and folded the two back fabric pieces and blind-stitched them closed.

In the end, you could not tell at all that it was quilted in two parts and then connected.  The extra steps at the end were time-consuming, but it was better than losing my sanity trying to stuff the whole quilt through my machine's throat 956 times.

I'm disappointed that it didn't photograph too well. Maybe it's the stark contrast of the white and dark colors? I was also in a hurry - late for her birthday dinner! - so I didn't have time for a lot of close-ups to show all the fabrics.

Honestly, when I first started making the blocks, I didn't really like them that much - it was the caribbean color that turned me off.  But the more I made, the more I liked how it was was coming together, and now that it's done I absolutely love it. I used this tutorial to make the blocks.

I remember when she was all forehead and big, ice-blue eyes. Now her eyes are green and just look how beautiful she's become. Happy Birthday, Val!

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