Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Progress...and a Store-bought Quilt

I've been working like crazy on the Big Quilt this week. I've decided that I need to get this quilt done before the weather turns warm, and I'm happy to say that I've finished all but two corners. They're big corners (40 inches square each) but should go relatively fast. I've already quilted parts of them, and I won't have to wrestle the quilt as much because there will be very little quilt in the harp space of my machine. Also, I'd like to think I'm getting faster at machine quilting.  Of course, my most important reason for finishing (aside from the fact that it's now a very much overdue gift for my son and daughter-in-law) is that a year is plenty long to have been blogging about my slow progress. 

Here's what I got done in the last few days:

And a little closer:

So anyway, I'm getting there. 

In other news, our bedroom painting project is finished. It is now green instead of off-white--a huge difference for us, but we like it. The whole look is more vintage-y than what I was first aiming for, but this color looked best with our carpet, wood trim, and antique furniture, and it will work well with lots of colors in further decorating. 

If you remember, I blogged awhile back about needing to replace our bedspread as it was literally fading away. Now that our walls are green, I decided to (GASP) buy a quilt in off-white. Then, to add some color without committing a year (or 13) to making a quilt, I plan to make bed runners as the whim hits me (I'll call them quilting practice quilts.) So here's what part of the room looks like now:

The carpet is actually forest green, not gray. It never photographs well. I put the throw quilt from the family room at the end of the bed to add a bit of color for the picture. For future bed runners, I hope to explore some more modern designs and colors. I'm also planning to make some different window treatments--something lighter than the old valances. But they'll do for now. 

About the store-bought quilt. I got it on sale at a big box store. It's not bad for store-bought, but it's not big enough to be a bedspread, so I'm using the bed skirt I used with our old quilt. The size is really odd--118 inches by 102. There's a ton of quilt tucked under our pile of pillows. It would probably fit perfectly if I put it long-way across the bed, but the scallop edge only goes around three sides, so that doesn't work. Maybe once it's washed the size will be a bit less cumbersome. It must be difficult to determine what size commercially made quilts should be nowadays with all the variations in the sizes of mattresses. I had looked at coverlets, but they were way too small for our bed. The quality of the quilting is okay--definitely done by computerized machine. There are some thread ends here and there, but I've come to expect that with big box store merchandise. The border quilting is a little sparse for my tastes; maybe I'll add lines between the lines that are there. 

Here's a close-up of the main quilting:

But here's the thing: a part of me feels really guilty as a quilter having a store-bought quilt as the covering for my bed. I do have several other commercially made quilts that we use as blankets. I bought them several years ago. They are densely quilted and well made, and because they are cotton, there's no static or itchiness that comes with polyester blankets. I don't feel bad about having bought them--maybe because I call them blankets. But buying the covering for my bed just doesn't feel right somehow. I probably need to get over that. Maybe when I make some bed runners, I'll feel better. But I'm curious. How do you feel as a quilter? Do you have a commercially made bed covering? Does it bother you if you do?

Well, now it's time to get back to quilting. Or blog reading. Or looking out the window at the silly Mallard couple who are house hunting by the unused tarp-covered pool next door. They are pretty sure that the snow-melt water on the tarp is the perfect private pond for them. There are two or three perfectly fine lakes a few blocks away. I don't know what they're thinking. 

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts. Have fun quilting, whether your progress is fast or slow. And I won't hold it against you if you bought your bed quilt. 


Sandra Walker said...

Your Mallard couple anecdote makes me bust out in a big grin! Here the cardinals are SINGING their hearts out, which, along with your ducks, makes me long for home. I was just telling someone yesterday that I did have a big box store quilt once for the guest room (not on our bed lol) and I wish I'd kept it as it was cheaply done, but hand-quilted!! When we made the big move from Alberta to Ontario, it was donated. I am loving the floral motif you've got going in the big quilt.

Lorna McMahon said...

I am happy to see the progress (slow or no) that you are making on the BIG quilt. And especially the close up shot. Really lovely work! Don't feel bad about the store bought quilt, er, I mean blanket. It looks great in your newly painted room and provides a nice backdrop for any bed runners you make to dress it up. Maybe the ducks find the lake to be too overcrowded for their tastes?

Kaja said...

Your bedroom looks lovely. I like the white quilt and it will set off your bed runners too. I haven't ever bought a quilt, but then over here you rarely see them at a sensible price. I can't wait to see Big Quilt finally finished!

Bernie Kringel said...

First off, the big quilt is so fantastic. Great things take time and this one is really turning out beautifully. I've enjoyed watching your progress. I am sure you are wanting to move on to a new project. Your kids will love this quilt and it will be an heirloom.
Next, the mallards. I love that story and it reminds me of 'Make Way for Ducklings' by Robert McCloskey. Did you read that to your kids? Such a sweet story.
Finally, I will confess, I have a not very nice comforter on our bed! I ow, it is shameful. We have this crazy King size bed what is so tall with gigantically tall mattress and box spring. I practically need a step stool to climb up. So I haven't made a quilt for it. It would be such an undertaking. I would surely send it to a long arm quilter because I could t wrestle something of that size. Now you know my shameful secret.

I love your room. Great colors with your woodwork and furnishings. You could do your valances to match the coverlet (Let's just not call it a quilt!) and then you'd have such a nice neutral palette to play with for the interchangeable 'parctice' quilts you are going to make.

Linda said...

The quilting on your big quilt is just gorgeous! I know you'll feel so accomplished when it's finished.
I had to laugh at Bernie's comment above - the "comforter" on our bed is about 5 years old, never fit our king-sized bed very well (too small), and the cat has used it as her scratching post a few times. And we also have one of those "high beds" (and I'm not tall). I bravely told my husband I would make us a quilt, but I can't see me quilting it, so I will probably do as you did and buy a spread or quilt. I love your store-bought quilt! I think putting bed runners is a great idea, and I'd love to do that also.
Awwww, the mallards - keep us posted on them. :)

Linda said...

I forgot to comment on your room - I love it! You did a beautiful job with your colors.

Lara B. said...

Mallards house hunting at a pool tarp puddle, LOL. :)
Love the quilting you've been doing on your big quilt Janine! I have no idea how you can handle quilting something so large on your domestic machine. I have trouble just doing lap size.
We have a Pottery Barn, plain cream quilt on our bed and yup, I do sometimes feel guilty about it. Silly really. Other areas of the house have quilts I bought before I became a quilter too. You're right - we wouldn't feel guilty if we thought of then as just a blanket.
Love your cozy green walls and your idea of doing bed runners for fun!

Valerie Reynolds said...

I enjoyed the comments as much as your post. Your room looks fantastic and I always enjoy seeing your progress on The BIG quilt. :)