Bobby's Quilt, 73" x 96"
Bobby's quilt is FINISHED! I delivered it to church this morning just in time for it to be blessed by the pastors at their staff meeting. The Quillow Ceremony will take place this coming Sunday during worship service at Christ Lutheran Church. All in all, my husband estimates that I spent over 80 hours working on this project, from the initial design to the last stitch. It feels REALLY GOOD that it's finally finished and off my shoulders!
All of the straight line quilting on this quilt was done with a walking foot on my domestic sewing machine. First I stabilized the quilt by quilting in the ditch with YLI Wonder Invisible monofilament in the needle and Aurifil 50/2 cotton in the bobbin. That's the discouraging stage where you spend hours putting in quilting stitches that hold everything together and prevent shifting of the layers, and then you look at the quilt and it looks like you haven't started quilting it at all. Invisible thread in the ditch really IS invisible!
|Ditch Stitch Quilting with Walking Foot|
I still hate marking quilts; I had to use three different marking utensils (the white marker on the black fabric, the yellow Sewline chalk pencil on the dark gray fabric and the red fabrics, and the purple disappearing pen on the white, gray, and orange fabrics). The chalk smudges and rubs off while I'm handling the quilt during marking, the white pen starts to run out after I've marked two lines, and the purple pen is a race against time because even though I only marked one quadrant of the quilt at a time and raced right back to the machine to start stitching, the purple pen -- as usual -- had already begun disappearing by the time I was trying to stitch on those lines. It must be the humidity or something. I was so tempted to draw the lines with Frixxion pens instead but I didn't have any scraps of the fabrics to test them on and I would have to just lay down and die if the pen marks didn't come out of the quilt after all this work. So I continued with my purple pen and just swore at it a lot. That made me feel better.
I had to do more diagonal quilting lines than what I had originally planned. The batting, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/poly, is supposed to be quilted at least 3 1/2" apart. I didn't want the batting to clump up and cause problems when the quilt is washed, and my stitching lines were farther apart than 3 1/2" at the outside corners. I went back and added an additional line of quilting stitched between each of the first lines.
|This is where my quilting lines are still too far apart|
Of course I had other ideas of decorative quilting that I would have loved to add between the diagonal rays and between the straight stitching lines of the cross, but I'm tried to be REALISTIC and SENSIBLE and KEEP IT SIMPLE since I was racing against time to finish this on time. Even "simple quilting" took a tremendous amount of time to complete. Anyway, I really think that the straight lines complement the piecing design and help to give the effect that light is radiating from the center of the cross.
At this point, I'd like to take a moment to credit Amy Friend, whose Ombre Vibes quilt I adapted for this quilt.
|Ombre Vibes by Amy Friend, 54" x 54", photo courtesy Amy Friend|
Amy's Ombre Vibes quilt was designed to use the 6 1/2" Square and 6 1/2" Half Square Triangle dies for the Sizzix Die Cutting System, and her pattern is available for free on the Sizzix web site here. Karen had asked for a quilt design that was Christian themed without being "too obvious" -- she didn't want it to look like a church banner thrown across his bed. When I saw Amy's quilt on Pinterest, I knew it would be perfect for this project! I enlarged the blocks to finish at 7 1/2" and added wide borders at the top and bottom of the quilt so it would fit an XL Twin dorm bed. Karent wanted to incorporate a shield with a cross in the center of the quilt, and she requested red and gray Ohio State colors since that's where Bobby will be going to college in the fall. The backing fabric is a gray and white camouflage print, a nod to his ROTC service.
|Bobby's Quilt, 73" x 96"|
Well, now that it's finished, I hope they like it! I'm linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF at Devoted Quilter, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.