Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nightshade quilt

I just got this quilt, quilted and the binding sewn on the front before we moved.  It's not a WIP because I only had to sew the binding on the back.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I had posted about my Nightshade fabric stack in August.  I didn't get it done for Halloween, but that's ok.  Since the house was staged for sale, I didn't put up any of my Halloween decorations.

I had a hard time with the design on this one.  I had originally thought about using the medallion heads in snowball blocks, but they were way too big.  I went ahead and made all the supporting fabrics into snowballs, but I just wasn't happy with them.  I off set the rows which used up the last cut that wasn't quite big enough for a full block.  It also made a nice secondary pattern of the zigzag, which I like better that the diamonds usually formed in snowball block.

However, I just didn't like it.   There just wasn't enough contrast.  Too many of my fabrics were medium value.  I put all the fabric away while I worked on other fall projects.  Then inspiration hit.  A few friends got together to make another friend a baby quilt.  The pregnant friend has a huge garden and cans a tremendous amount every year.  We thought it would be fun to make an I Spy quilt using canning jars as the format.  This also made it easy for a group to make a quilt together.  Long story short, my somewhat macabre sense of humor thought it would be hilarious to put heads in jars for a Halloween quilt.  I grabbed a few other  larger scale prints that I thought played well and made a pair of shelves with spooky jars.

The quilt is truly reversible and now that it's quilted, I even like the snowballs.  I quilted it with the jar side up.  I thought spooky jars should have spooky quilting.  I did a pattern of spider webs over the jars and some organic straight lines at the top and bottom.  I started off marking a few of the radiating lines doing them with a walking foot, but it was too hard to maneuver.  Then I bit the bullet and free motioned everything including the straight lines.  It was frustrating, but I'm glad I tackled it.  Free motion quilting really is like riding a bike, you just have to go for it and have confidence.

I hope you can see the spider web quilting in this picture.

I took my long arm quilting class on Monday.  It was AWESOME!!!  It is so much easier and smoother to move the sewing machine rather than the quilt.  Loading the quilt was a bit cumbersome, but it took less time than pic basting and was easier to get everything lined up than in spray basting.  I'm definitely going to take the next class and certified to rent the machine on my own.

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