Friday, November 22, 2019

Bed Runner

Ooh, ooh, ooh, a finish! I just haven't had many of those this year. At least it seems like it. I started this quilt way back in July. It's been sitting around for the past few weeks with the binding ready to sew down. I had been saving it for a take-along task, but realized this week that I could just finish it because soon I'll have a couple more take-along projects. (Yes, two other projects close to a finish. I've been a quilting machine during our early winter weather.) So, after a couple of evenings of TV watching and staying cozy while binding, here it is: our bed runner, aka Gently Down the Stream Again, from a pattern by Christina Cameli. I say Again, because it's the third quilt I've made from this pattern. (Can you tell I love it?!)
I have to say that I am more pleased with my fabric selection for this quilt than I have been for any other quilt I have ever made. Everything came together so well. I went to the biggest independent fabric store in my area and challenged myself to do a pull from just that store (in addition to four pieces I had at home.) I stood back about 10 feet from the shelves and pulled whatever I thought might work in my scheme of coral, turquoise/aqua, gold and green. 

This is pretty much the entire pull. I had an aqua print and a light coral at home. I couldn't find a turquoise I liked, but I knew I had two at home. After I got home, I deleted the aqua fat quarter you see on the lower left. I had another darker turquoise in the mix, too, but I rejected it as too dark for the quilt. The thing that thrilled me most was that each of the more complex prints had other colors from the pull in them. My favorite is that aqua paisley. This really just "happened" as these are from a lot of different fabric lines. As you can see my favorite fabrics are tone-on-tone prints, but there was just enough movement in the prints to satisfy me. For the zigzag feature in the design, I chose Kona Bone because it matched our bedspread.

This quilt is built with strip sets, and laying them out to get varied combinations took a lot of space. I ran out of room on my banquet table and had to use my couch, too. Somewhere along the way, I figured out how many combinations of three you can make from 14 fabrics. Let's just say it's A LOT. (I can't find my notes, or I'd tell you)

To keep them all together, I used bobby pins. I had recently needed a couple of bobby pins for my hair. Of course, I had to buy a bunch because that was how they came, but they came in handy for this kind of project. I pulled out a few to keep in my vanity drawer, but the rest became a sewing notion. They are in this nifty little magnetic case. I love how you can make sewing notions out of all kinds of things.

I quilted the quilt sort of as recommended in the pattern, with squiggles in the zigzag area and mostly meanders with a few kinda, sorta flowers in the colorful parts. My rule was no picking out anything unless there was a major tension issue or pleats in the fabric. So there are some wonky stitches, but I don't care because we are wonky people and this is our quilt. Free motion quilting went fast because I could go from one end to the other without stopping except to change a bobbin. (So much to love about this pattern!) I used leftover fabric in strips for the binding, first laying pieces out around the quilt edge to make sure that a particular binding fabric didn't touch the same fabric in the body of the quilt.

Here are some close-ups of the front.

And my initials and date:

I chose to use Kona Bone on the back. Not sure exactly why--maybe a thought that a color would eventually crock onto the bedspread? Probably a ridiculous idea. Oh well. I didn't seem to have that worry when it came to the binding. Anyway, now that it's done, I love the back because it shows the quilting so well. 

Here's the back on the garage:

And some close ups:

So there you have it. But wait, how about some pictures on the bed?

I love how it looks with our green walls--and it's just the pop of color we need. I have some fabric left (there are a lot of cut-off edges as well as some extra triangles), so maybe a throw pillow is in the future--but don't hold your breath waiting.

Here are the stats:
Pattern: Gently Down the Stream by Christina Cameli. The pattern was in a magazine, but I think you can purchase it from her. I made my version longer and narrower.
Fabrics:  A variety (sorry, I'm not good at keeping track of them) plus Kona Bone.
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 
Thread: Superior-- Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; King Tut in White Linen for quilting; Treasure in Old Lace for hand stitching binding.
Binding: 2 1/2 inches cut, double layer, machine sewn to front and hand stitched on back
Size: I forgot to measure (or maybe write down) the size before quilting; 83 1/4 inches by 27 5/8 inches after quilting. I don't plan to wash it until it needs it.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for free motion quilting.

I learned one big thing with this quilt. If it's going to take a long time between start and finish, keep all notes in one good place so you can find them later when you want to write about it. Of course, that doesn't guarantee that I'll know what the notes say, as they are usually a kind of stream of consciousness/problem solving indecipherable scratch. 

We put the quilt on the bed last night. It felt good to have that extra bit of weight at the end of the bed. There is a mysterious elf at our house that often pulls our blankets off the bed--almost always on my side. Hmm. Well, that runner seemed to stay on the bed most of the night, but did slide off sometime in the wee hours. I'm blaming the elf. At least the bed looks pretty during the day.

It seems that no modern blog post would be complete without one of those swirl glamour shots, so here it is!

I'm linking up this week with Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and  Wendy of Wendy's Quilts and More for Peacock Party.

Have a good week. And if you are in the US, have fun preparing for Thanksgiving.

(I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

My Last Quilty TBT

Here we are at what I'm pretty sure is my last Throwback Thursday quilt post. So let's get right to it. I made this one for my daughter and son-in-law in, I think, 2006, about a year after they got married--sort of a first anniversary gift, I guess. For some reason I had no photos of it and didn't think of it until just recently when I was searching for photos for my previous TBT post. So I asked my daughter to take some current photos, and while she was doing that, she came across an old one she had taken. Here is the quilt on their bed in 2009. I think my daughter might have been sentimentally taking photos as they were getting ready to become homeowners.
The quilt is based on colors that were popular at the time in an upscale home decor store, so I've always thought of it as the PB quilt (initials of the store). Although I have no photos of my own, I did find some documents on my computer of some of my plans for the design and color arrangement. It seems that I downloaded some graph paper and painstakingly colored in the squares using my paint program on my computer. Yipes! I'm not even sure how I did that. Here are some of my ideas:

I'm pretty sure the one on the left in that last picture is the final design. 

Here are some photos of the quilt in their current bedroom:
She had to dig it out of storage, so it's a bit scrunched up. It now only lives on the bed under their current quilts in the winter when it gets really cold. 
Here's a close up so you can see some of those tone-on-tone fabrics better. And you can also see that I tied it with pearl cotton. I was not yet retired back then and had no time to quilt it. I was only doing hand quilting at the time. They would probably still be waiting for it today if I had quilted it. I don't know the exact size, but it fits a queen sized bed, and the last time I hand quilted a quilt that size, I think it took 17 years. (There's a TBT post about that other quilt somewhere on this blog.) The back of this quilt is off-white--probably a good quality muslin. I'm certain that the batting is polyester given the distance between those ties.

This is, as far as I can tell, my 52nd quilty Throwback Thursday, a series of posts I have devoted to the quilts I made--or quilted--before I started blogging sometime in 2014. During that time I have documented at least 174 quilts--all the ones I could find photos for. There were a few more quilts along the way, but those were either exact duplicates or ones that slipped away from me without any documentation. I started this series in October 2014 when I found a blogger who was featuring TBT posts. Alas, the following week, she disappeared from blogland. For a few months I linked up almost weekly with another blog (Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation, which is still going strong), but that didn't feel quite right because the quilts featured on that blog were new ones. In the fall of 2015, I found Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge, and I linked up with her monthly TBT linky party until life caught up with her in the fall of 2016, and she discontinued the party. I took a TBT break until January 2018, when Sandra at mmm! quilts revived TBT the first Thursday of the month. She now shares the hosting of the party with  AndrĂ©e at Quilting and Learning. So a big thank you to all of these women, and especially Sandra for reviving TBT. 

I have a real sense of accomplishment completing this documentation of old quilts. Looking back, I see that I used to write often about one quilt at a time. As my blogging rate tapered off, I started grouping quilts.There were some posts that wrote themselves--the ones where there was a poignant, or at least interesting, back story. Others relied on details and statistics because that was really all I had. Anyway, if you are new or newish to my blog and are interested in my old work and previous TBTs, just click on the "throwback thursday" label on the right side bar or at the bottom of this post. I think that will take you to most, if not all, of them. 

Again, thanks to the wonderful bloggers who have made these TBT parties possible. I'm linking up today with Sandra at mmm! quilts, where you will find her ALWAYS fascinating TBT blog post (really, she has total recall of the quilts she made before blogging and great photos) and the link party for you to share your own pre-blog quilts if you can. Even if you don't have any to share, be sure to read about the others at the party. 

I'll be back soon with more on my current projects. Until then, keep quilting!