Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hexie Finish

Oh, goody, I have another finish to share this week. My Hexie Quilt! I had set it aside recently to finish some other projects and chase some squirrels (and to procrastinate in picking a quilting design), but this week it all came together pretty quickly. This morning I ran out to take pictures (in my pajamas!) because the light was right--even overcast--and the wind was calm. Quite a contrast to our bright blue, sunny skies of yesterday and wind gusts as high as 60-some miles per hour. Cuh-ray-zy!! As a result of the wind, there are lots of places without electricity around here today, but we were lucky. Oh, guess I'm off-topic, but the point is that I could get some pictures (that showed the quilting) this morning without blowing away. 

You can see how I made this quilt here, here and here. There are also a few pictures on my Instagram site. If you compare some of those other pictures to the above picture, you can see that I did a little quilt surgery in the improv part of the back to balance colors out a little more after I had the back together. 

For the quilting, I decided on a walking foot design. Due to my shoulder injury, I haven't quilted a biggish quilt since last August, and large-scale FMQ still seems a little too demanding. I was going to divide the quilt diagonally and do four fairly equal quadrants of wavy lines, but then thought it might be more fun to put the diagonals off center. 

I started by using an old tool I haven't had out in awhile--my flexible curve. 

I could have drawn the lines freehand but this helped me visualize what I wanted to do. I used my Chakoner to draw light chalk lines along the flexible curve for my main lines. My walking foot has a guide with it so I used that to space the quilting. 

I did find that doing concave curves (that's the name for the ones that curve in like the bottom of a bowl, right?) with the guide was not real accurate because the guide is somewhat behind the needle instead of next to it. I don't know why that is--maybe because it's meant just for straight lines? Anyway, I learned to mostly eyeball my lines and use the guide as just a guide. Huh, maybe because it is a guide?? They're a little wonky here and there, but I decided from the outset that I would not pick them out if they wobbled. The lines are about 1 inch apart. I had to really restrain myself to not fill in with more lines to make them 1/2 inch apart. I love dense quilting, but I wanted this quilt to be a fast finish and really soft. I had a love/hate relationship with the mint thread I used throughout the quilting--I thought it was too prominent and taking too much attention from the hexies--but in the end, I loved it. I was just viewing it from way too close while sewing. 

I'm really pleased that I didn't have any pulling/distortion with the walking foot. I had really pinned this quilt a lot when I basted it because I didn't know at the time how I was going to quilt it. As I did each line, I moved pins as needed, making a row about 2 inches away from the previous stitching line. This took a bit of time, but it gave my arm a rest so that I could keep working (reaching to the left to rearrange the quilt as I sew is still difficult to do and fatiguing). The pins made a nice tight channel for the quilting. 

I ordered some extra navy print fabric for the binding. I like that it has a diagonal print that looks like bias binding with a little extra interest because of the variations in the print. I'm still working to improve my binding skills. Working on the theory that I tend to stretch my bindings as I attach them (so that the quilt ripples on the edge), I took extra care to make sure that the measurement of the binding matched the length of each side of the quilt. After turning a corner, I measured, then pinned the binding at the next corner and few places along the way.
I stitched it by machine to the front and then whipped it down to the back by hand. 

Here are a few close-ups:

Extreme close-up of my initials and date

And the quilt after washing (sorry, low evening light):

And now for the details about the quilt:
Design: Hexies from a plastic template made to my specifications by a local glass cutter. Longer diameter is about 9 1/4 inches and shorter diameter is a little over 8 inches.
Fabric: Paperie by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabric (mostly won in a giveaway from Hawthorne Threads), plus two aqua prints (one from Hazel line by Cluck Cluck Sew for Windham and the other an unknown to me). Backing is Jules and Coco Flower Garden from Joann.
Binding: Cut 2 inches wide and folded; 1/4 inch wide on front
Threads: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing. Superior King Tut in Mint Julip for the quilting on the front and in Temple in the bobbin. (I considered switching the colors around, but now I'm glad I didn't.) Superior Treasure Hand Quilting in Old Lace for the hand part of the binding. 
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Bleached Cotton
Size: 43 1/2 by 53 inches before washing. 41 1/2 by 50 1/4 inches after machine washing on cold, drying on low.

Pieced on my Singer Featherweight; Quilted on my Singer 115 Treadle with a walking foot.

So what did I learn from making this quilt?
1. Sewing large hexies by machine is a blast!! And much easier than you might think.
2. It's ridiculous for me to agonize so much over the color of quilt thread. In the end it all works out.
3. Over-pin-basting a quilt takes time, but it's worth it.
4. A walking foot guide is really just a "guide" if I'm doing curves. 
5. It's very freeing to not worry about whether quilting lines are accurate and well-spaced.
6 .I can restrain myself from quilting every last half inch of a quilt and still be happy with the result. 
7. Taking time to measure the binding as I attach it seems to help me get a smoother edge.
8. My husband thought the quilting looked like the Piedmont. He remembered seeing pictures in his elementary geography book of the Piedmont area in the southeastern United States. When I looked up images online, I thought the quilting looked more like the Piedmont in Italy. But he's right. It does look like the Piedmont, wherever it is. If I were keeping the quilt, maybe I'd rename it Piedmont.  
8. I am so glad I can quilt again!!

I plan to donate this quilt to Margaret's Hope Chest for the Mother and Baby program at Pine Rest Hospital. It will serve as a hug during therapy for a mother recovering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. 

Time to get back to other quilt projects. The only outstanding WIPs I have are both Improvs. Hmmm. I wonder why they are always the last I work on. Lack confidence much?

I'm linking up over the next few days with linky parties at Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, My Quilt Infatuation,  Quilt Moderne (TGIFF) and Sew Fresh Quilts. I hope you have had a great quilty week. If you live in my part of the US, I hope the wind didn't blow you away! (And that you still have electricity.)


Linda said...

I couldn't wait to see your post! Love the quilting so much, and the Paperie fabrics and he IRS and binding - just gorgeous! You did a fabulous job. Lol on taking photos in your PJs and your husband comparing it to the Piedmont. :)
I used to do Things I've Learned on my posts and regret that I stopped.

Lin said...

Great finish and I love your quilting design. I am hand pieceing a large hexie quilt at the moment so am looking for quilting ideas! xx

Sandra Walker said...

You rock my friend! On many levels exemplified here: the QUILTING!! I am not usually a fan of straight-line quilting, maybe matchstick, okay, but I love love how you wove the gently waving lines on the quilt! It's just perfect! The pattern, large hexies, yeah! I have recently done large half hexies and they were a blast. Will have to try this. Donating the beautiful quilt for such a good cause. You're quilting! Yahoo! the binding! both the diagnonal stripe (talking to a fan of striped bindings, period) but also to measure so you don't stretch...that is worth investigating for me... I also totally relate to the 'resisting the temptation' to add more quilting. I've done that on my two most recent quilts and, like you, have been very pleased with the resulting restraint!

KaHolly said...

Absolutely stunning! (You husband has a good memory). XO

Jayne said...

I love this! It's so pretty! I totally understand the agony of picking a thread color! I've wanted to make another hexie may have pushed me over the edge!

Sarah said...

Love your curvy lines- I think they work well with the hexies. Also, I think your binding looks pretty darn perfect! Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

Crafty Ashley B said...

Lovely! It's so pretty!

Mari said...

Great quilt. I love the idea of giant hexies and the quilting design is great. It looks like flags waving to me. I love how it changes direction! I would never have thought to do that. We have had a lot of wind, too, and today we've had snow squalls and wind. It was nuts on the road!

Kitty | Night Quilter said...

Oh gosh I love this! The quilting looks so fabulous, and sounds like a very freeing design. The quilt is beautiful, and I really love your signature. That's a great idea for putting your name discretely into your creation before donating it. Lovely, and such a wonderful finish on all counts!

Bernie Kringel said...

The quilt is just lovely Janine. Great colors. My favorite thing about the quilt is the texture you gave it with the wavy, rounded quilting. What a perfect choice for qulting. Great job!

Claire said...

Great finish! I love the back and the quilting. I too have stopped agonizing over quilting thread color so much. From a distance the blend is good,better with light thread on dark fabric than vice verse. Claire aka knitnkwilt

travelinsewl said...

Soccer Ball 😊. The quilting makes me think of a soccer ball. It is really cool. A different spin on a quilting design.

Janice Holton said...

JanineMarie, wow you pack a lot of information into one post! I LOVED IT! Fascinating to ready your process and your thoughts along the way. I LOVE the 4 quadrant quilting you did. I have a basted quilt waiting to be quilted and keep procrastinating because I want to try something new but the thing I want to try I'm not at all confident about. I think I could manage this and I love the way it looks! Thanks for the inspiration!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Such a lovely quilt! Love this colour combo is pretty and your wavy quiting is wonderful!

Kaja said...

Almost the first thing I thought was how much I liked the way you had quilted this; unobtrusive and interesting at the same time. Of course, the rest of the quilt is lovely too!

Mary Marcotte said...

Wow, there's so much in this post that I'm not sure where to begin. Oh, that binding is perfect. It adds a playful mood to the already fun quilt. The fabrics are pretty cool, too.

The hexies look big enough that maybe I'd consider them now. Everyone seems to work on those little hexies that would bore me to death! I like your idea of having a template made. I'll have to look into that. Couple of questions: did you rotary cut the hexies with this plastic template? If not, did you have to draw them first? Oh, I have too many questions. Just know that I love it!

Preeti said...

Gorgeous. So modern and so chic - love it. The way you distributed the dark hexies so evenly across the quilt - it forces the eyes to move all over the quilt - jump from one dark hexie to another. And the quilting is just the perfect cherry on top!!!

LindseyAnne said...

I love the quilting (and the quilt) and you have now inspired me to do something similar on a lap quilt that has been basted and waiting for far too long to be quilted. A great tip about over-pinning and moving the pins as you go. I didn't think you were 'allowed' to do that :)Thank you!

Unknown said...

What a pretty quilt. Would like to try your quilting pattern of curves. Do you start from a inner quilt line and go out, having to bury each thread? Or do you start from the edge going in and doing a u and going back out when you start your 2nd set of curves?

JanineMarie said...

Hi, Becky. You're a no-reply blogger, so I'll answer your question here and hope you find it. :) I started the quilting from an inner line and buried threads because it was easier for me to quilt in that direction. I know there are people that do the U turn, but this way I didn't have as much quilt under the harp space of my machine (and I was also afraid I'd bunch up the quilt and get a ripple if I quilted from the edge in).

Unknown said...

Thank you!

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I've been waiting for this finish. It came out GREAT!!!!Your curved quilting creates movement that adds to the cool finish.

QuiltGranma said...

LOVE your quilting! Good job!