Last fall, we attended a wonderful outdoor wedding in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan joining my nephew and his lovely bride in matrimony. What a darling couple!
In the background of the reception hall, you can see the fabric pendants strung along the walls and tables... It was the most adorable wonderful family wedding to be a part of. What a great time we had!
As we were helping to take down the decorations and clean up on Sunday morning, I asked the new bride what was she going to do with the fabric pendants? She really didn't know, so I offered to take some of them and make something special.
I alternated the triangles with pieces of natural colored muslin,
making strips of random triangles, no pattern intended.
Next, this is the where the technique
comes into play.
Essentially, it is working one panel at a time by doing fancy stitching of a quilting pattern through all three layers---- top, batting, and backing ---- working each strip complete, then attaching on the next strip to work. It's a method that allows a regular home sewing machine to make a quilt without having to send it out to a big flat-bed long arm quilting service. (or hand stitching it all as it was done in the old days!)
Okay... now that you understand the concept,
let's go back to the photos of the actual quilt being created!
So far, I have done a few kinds of free motion stitching for decorative appeal on some of my quilts. I have done the "puzzle piece" style called meandering. I have done diagonal lines criss-crossing called hatching. I have learned fancy swirls and feathers and vines etc.
For this quilt I chose something new... I am calling them "Loopy Swirls" The random loops and reversing directions is kinda tough at first, but once you get into the swing of it, the panels just roll along as I do the stitching. Instead of going from the top to the bottom like most sewing, I found it easier to start at the bottom and work backwards so I could see what I already created and knew the stuff coming up behind the needle was clear and open. I could be sure I covered all the open spaces with loops and swirls.
The hardest part was matching up the seams on the isosceles triangles.
It was joining up six seams into each intersection!
I have a Sew Steady table extension to my sewing machine, which I keep on an old fashioned typing table. (thanks Linda Guelig!) That gives me more room to sew and supports wider pieces of projects.
In the middle of all this intensive quilting, I realized the light on my sewing machine didn't work so well during the nighttime hours. I just happened to see a GREAT sale on the new style of Ottlite at Joann's... it's called The Cambridge Lamp and looks old fashioned, but gives clear white light to see true colors and it's wonderful for sewing or crafting! It was the perfect style for my 100 year old home! The regular Ottlites look space-age and modular. I never cared for the look of them, but always wanted the good clear, clean light to work on my projects.
I saw that the lamp was on sale from $139 down to $69 and after my 20% coupon it was only $55! Score! I can also use on my old treadle machine which, of course, doesn't have ANY light at all!
Back to the quilt....
Finally the quilt grew to a full queen size. I had to add borders all around. I had enough scraps to make little right angle triangles to go around all four sides. (By this time I was SICK of doing isosceles triangles!)
I had to move the whole project now into the diningroom. I have found that if I just set my sewing machine on the diningroom table, my arms are up too high for all the intensive free motion stitching. It takes a lot of concentration and tenseness builds up in the shoulders if I hold my arms up too high for too long periods of time.
Soooooo I butted my sewing machine on the little typing table right up to the diningroom table to carry the excess bulk and weight of the quilt. They are now on the same level. That can leave the section I am working on free of any tension so I can move the section that I am working on and glide it freely around to do the loopy free motion stitching.
Whew... finished! I bound off the edges with more muslin,
and I added a handmade tag commemorating their wedding date.
It's a bit rugged and rustic, but I think it fits their wedding theme.
And... here it is!
The quilt is not perfect, there are some lumps and bumps along the way. Just like marriage. But I hope they find comfort in each other's arms as they cuddle under this quilt over the years. I want them to USE it and love it; not just store it away somewhere to keep "for good". They are moving to a new house at the end of the month, so it arrived just in time as a house-warming gift too!
P.S. I was reminded from a fellow blog reader that I should add a part about their reaction! Well, I shipped it out and texted them to watch for a box. It came while Darren was home, but he was warned by his wife Chelsea to NOT open it until she got home from work! LOL They were delighted and excited and thrilled with the quilt. I am soooo glad they like it. It puts a smile on my face to think of the happiness from their wedding day, that I had a chance to be a small part of it.