Friday, August 19, 2016

Love Wins Finish

Whew!  A finish this week! I wasn't expecting that when I sat down to start hand stitching the binding to the back of my quilt, but I just kept going and going, and now it's done!

When I make a quilt, I usually try to piece the backing from leftover fabrics from the front, but with this quilt there wasn't a lot of fabric left, so I decided to use just one fabric. I ended up using a stripe after lots of dithering that I won't go into here. I'm definitely not fond of stripes as a backing. They are hard for me to square up and keep straight while basting. But I do love them for binding. Of course, using a striped binding with the same striped backing poses some problems. I tried to intentionally not match the stripes in the binding to the backing so that I wouldn't drive myself crazy trying to match them. That was harder than it might seem. There are some places where they do sort of match up. I'm not sure how that happened. I probably stretched the binding a little, but overall, I think it's okay. And I do love a striped binding.

Some weird shadows from the quilting here. Looks better in person.
I had two false starts with the quilting. I tried some concentric hearts on the heart shaped blocks, first in free-motion and then with a walking foot. I wasn't happy with my FMQ (wobbly) and did not enjoy all the quilt maneuvering I needed to do with the walking foot. So I ripped out what I had done and went with my old stand-by. Yup. Meandering. I did big meanders in the hearts--with some random tiny heart shapes (or maybe they look like leaves?) thrown in here and there--and little stipples in the background. At the bottom of the quilt I did the big meanders above and below the letters and little stipples between them to make them stand out and to keep the amount of quilting consistent with the rest of the quilt.

Just after finishing the quilt, I read a blog post telling why I shouldn't "ruin" my quilt with allover meandering. Ouch. I may need to write a rebuttal about why I love meandering.

This quilt begged to be made. Shortly after the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, I read that the Orlando Modern Quilt guild was collecting quilts for the survivors, friends and families of victims, and first responders as a gesture of support. I had a bundle of Robert Kaufman rainbow fabrics that I had won a couple of years ago in a Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour. I was still trying to decide what to do with it. The bundle practically jumped off the shelf at me, and I knew I had to use it for a Quilt for Pulse. The Orlando guild suggested using a heart pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew. I liked the pattern, but it was so cheerful, and I knew that the hurt from the Pulse tragedy would endure. Lives were fractured; hearts were broken. So I decided to add some fractured and broken hearts to the other blocks to recognize that pain, but with the message that Love will win out in the end. I quickly sketched out an idea.

You can read about how I made the fractured and broken hearts here and here. I also planned the letters on graph paper, six inches high and proportional to each other. 

I don't tackle tough issues in my blog. I want to focus on the sweetness and light that is quilting. But there is so much ugliness in this world of ours, so much hate and horror and pain. I am thankful that we as quilters can do something to counteract the evil around us with love in the form of quilts. It's hard for me to put my thoughts and feelings into words, but I hope that my messages for healing can be read in my quilt. I know that there is a broad quilting community that gets this, and I am so thankful to be a part of it. I just wish there weren't so many reasons to make these kinds of quilts. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.

Here are some more pictures in the backyard...

Look close for a message and signature

and at the park behind our township offices... 

and after washing, with all it's crinkliness (and flatness!)

And now some stats:
Blocks: Basic heart pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew; original fractured and broken hearts and letters.
Block size (finished): 10 inches
Quilt size: 50 1/2 inches by 60 1/2 inches before quilting 
                 50 by 60 inches after quilting
                 47 1/4 by 57 1/4 inches after washing (5 to 6 % shrinkage)
Fabrics: Rainbow fabrics from a Robert Kaufman bundle of Blueprint Basics by Valori Wells; additional rainbow prints from my stash; assortment of white, off white and white/gray scraps; A is for Alligator by Michele Scott for Northcott Fabrics for backing
Batting: a mystery to me. The last of a piece I had in my stash. I love it; it's scrunchy and soft--maybe an 80/20 blend. It squares up the quilt beautifully and flattens any ripples after washing the quilt.
Binding: same fabric as backing; 2 3/8 inches for a 3/8 inch finish; machine sewn on front and hand stitched to back.
Piecing thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite
Quilting thread: Superior King Tut in Temple
Pieced on Singer Featherweight
Quilted on Singer 115 treadle

This quilt will soon be on its way to Florida to help with the healing of Orlando.

I'm linking this post with Crazy Mom Quilts and Free Motion Mavericks, but they're both on blog-cation, so those links will come later. Also with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday. You can hit the buttons on the sidebar when those links become active.

Have a lovely weekend, and thank you for all you do to heal others with the love in your quilts.


Jayne said...

Love does win and so does 'meandering' quilting!! I really like that you took the basic heart and added the 'fractures', so different and interesting. This quilt will be cherished and loved when it makes it to its new home. You did a great job from start to finish...well done!

Bernie Kringel said...

Janine, The progressively 'healing' hearts is so meaningful. What a great sentiment you have put into this quilt. It will be well loved by its recipient.
I don't know why but there are people who are anti-stippling. I think it is really pretty and have used it many times. To each his/her own I suppose but it certainly didn't ruin this quilt.
Great job and I agree about striped bindings. They always look so sharp.

Mari said...

What a wonderful quilt, Janine! It is cheerful, but it has a lovely message. Sure to be appreciated in Orlando. said...

Wow Janine- wonderful quilt! When I first saw the quilt I thought " omg - this smacks of a broken heart that has healed". When I read your post I see that is exactly what you are sending- love, kindness ,healing. AWESOME job!!!

KaHolly said...

This quilt looks wonderful! Especially the way you added your own interpretive twist to the design. The meandering looks just fine. Don't let someone else's opinion taint your beautiful finish. Some quilts want to have meandering and this one was no exception. Well done! It will be well appreciated!

Nancy Bekofske said...

Brilliant and moving.

Carla Fiedler said...

Beautiful! Don't let the stippling police get you down; it looks great in this quilt!

Valerie Reynolds said...

SUch a wonderful creative idea!! LOVE IT!! My favorite picture is of it laid out in front of the roses...just love all the colors together. YOu are a genuine soul Janine.

Claire said...

A beautiful finish with a complex message. Quite an accomplishment!

Lesley said...

Your quilt is stunning! I love the way you quilted it...I think the meandering and stippling is perfect to show those wonderful hearts and words. This quilt tells a story. Well done!

Kaja said...

Congratulations, Janine, on a fantastic finish and a beautiful, moving blog post.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful finish. I love a nice stippled quilt, it has great texture without taking away from the design.

Gina said...

Stunning. I'm a huge fan of meandering and refuse to feel guilty because it's my go to quilting pattern.

quiltmania said...

What a lovely quilt!

Muv said...

Hello JeanineMarie,
I love the message of healing hearts that you have put into this quilt! Such a beautiful gift.
Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
Love, Muv