[Blushing] Finished

[Blushing] Finished

My brother recently got remarried and his new stepdaughter just graduated from high school. I decided to make a quilt for her graduation gift. My hope is that she will take the quilt with her to college (which happens to be my alma mater).

[Blushing] Finished

To make this quick-ish quilt, I used Blush pre-cuts (a charm pack and jelly roll) plus 3 yards for the backing and half yards of two Grunges for the inner border and binding. The quilt finished at around 48″ x 72″ (prewashing).

[Blushing] Finished

To make the top, I paired a charm square and a jelly roll strip, making sure there was contrast between the two (I used 40 charm squares and 40 jelly roll strips). After framing each of the charm squares, I had about 14″ left on each jelly roll strip. I used those leftover strips to make the pieced border and a pieced strip for the back.

[Blushing] Finished

I want to try something new with each quilt I make, to expand my skill set and hopefully learn something new. Seeing as how the top was pretty straightforward, design-wise, I decided to try something completely out of my comfort zone for the quilting: oversized pebbles or what I started dubbing sloppy circles. And as a result, this may be the first quilt that I think I ruined with my quilting. :/

[Blushing] Finished

I thought the large circles would look nice since several of the Blush prints have circles or dots, including the fabric I picked for the backing. I also thought the circles would be a nice juxtaposition to the square-in-square design. Well, it would have been a nice juxtaposition had the circles/pebbles been executed cleanly. Or maybe I should have made them smaller and limited their placement to the borders of the charm squares. Argh.

Overall, the quality and scale of the quilting is distracting and takes away from the quilt top.  By the time I realized this, it was not worth my time to go back and pick out all of the stitches, so I just kept chugging along.

[Blushing] Finished

As much as I do not want to show any close up pictures of the quilting, I will; but only in the hope that it helps someone else avoid doing what I did.

[Blushing] Finished

I probably should not have tackled a project this big for my first time trying pebble quilting. The resulting quilting looks pretty bad. There are a couple of okay spots, but overall, it is just not good.

I do not have control of my machine yet when I free motion quilt. I struggle with my stops/starts and end up with jagged-y uneven stitches when I do. Therefore, I try not to stop in the middle of the quilt as much as possible. I usually try to work my way off to the side of the quilt when I need to rest. Since I am trying not to stop, I think my brain/foot just think GO! GO! GO! so I feel the need to rush through the process.

[Blushing] Finished

I wish I could embrace the sloppy circles (the worst ones shown above) but I just cannot. I want them to be tidier – not necessarily perfect – just more even and less rudimentary.

When I was more than half way done quilting this, I realized that I was moving the fabric way too fast and if I would slow my hands down, the quilting stitches would be smaller and I could control the look of the circles better.

[Blushing] Finished

As always is the case with me, I did start to get the hang of the circles just as I was about done with the quilting. One corner has cleaner looking ones (see photo above).

I used a chalk pencil (made for quilters) to mark where the circles would go because I knew I would not be able to do a decent job of spacing the circles on the fly while quilting. I also tried a pencil and another colored marking pencil but they did not show up on the variety of Blush fabrics. I thought the chalk would easily wash out. It turns out that it does not (it gets trapped in the fabric/stitches where it is sewn over). Three washes, two soaks and a couple of stain treatments later, it is almost completely out. I can still see chalk residue in some of the stitch lines, but I doubt anyone else would notice unless I point it out.

[Blushing] Finished

Another disappointment with this quilt, is my binding choice. I should have picked a Blush print instead of the brown Grunge. The semi-solid brown Grunge is too dark and contrasts too much with the border. Now, to give me a little credit, when I picked the binding fabric I had not planned on doing the pieced border. I think the brown Grunge would have been a fine choice if there was not a pieced border.

Aside from my disappointment in how I finished this quilt, I am quite pleased with my new labeling method which I used for the first time here. The label is inconspicuous and yet provides a lot of information.

[Blushing] Finished

I washed a pink Grunge jelly roll strip (which was leftover from piecing the top), let it air dry, ironed it, stamped my labels on it using a mixture of black and brown ink, then heat set the stamped labels with my iron. I then trimmed the fabric and added the three label bits into the pieced strip for the back.

[Blushing] Finished

For the personalized part of the label, I used some alpha stamps leftover from my scrapbooking days. I wish I had number stamps the same size so it would be easier to put a date the quilt. Instead, I used a date stamp which worked fine in this instance since I could use the date of the graduation. Generally though, I like to list just the month and year to date a quilt.

[Blushing] Finished

Since I washed this quilt several times already (trying to get the darn chalk out), I can see that the ink does fade a little bit. That makes me think that I should only use black ink so as to start with the darkest stamped image possible, in case it fades any more.

[Blushing] Finished

I used a new-to-me batting (a soy-cotton blend) and generally was happy with the results (lighter than 100 percent cotton and great drape). I did encounter a bit of fluffy debris (bearding?) while basting, binding, and post-washing. I am going to write more about my experiences with different types of batting and hope to get that post published later this week.

Ok, that is more than enough about this quilt. We will be traveling to visit my extended family in less than a month, so we will get to deliver the quilt in person. I do hope she likes it (I am sure she will not see all of the issues that I see in it)!

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12 thoughts on “[Blushing] Finished

  1. felicity says:

    We are most certainly our own worst critic, and you are no exception. It’s not awful; the scribbly quilted circles do work, in my opinion. Marking quilts is the bane of my existence and I’ve at least one situation where I’ve had to leave extremely noticeable marks behind (hint: lead pencil doesn’t wash out, no matter how light a hand you use for it, or how sharp the pencil is). I’m sure your brother’s stepdaughter will appreciate the beautiful work you’ve done.

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  2. beth lehman says:

    live and learn – i keep telling myself – you really do learn something every time you tackle something new! it’s not so bad, really, i kinda like it!

    Like

  3. sam russell says:

    The quilt is beautiful! She will love it, only we can pick apart our work that much! I have a question about rolls and charm packs, hopefully you or someone can assure me. I always prewash my fabric to avoid shrinkage or color running. Have you had any problems with rolls or charms? especially the blush colors? Thanks, I may make one similar for my son, in boy colors of course!

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    • Lucia Wilke says:

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for the kind words. I don’t prewash my fabrics and haven’t ever had a problem with fabric bleeding. I do also put a shout colorcatcher in the wash with the quilt in its first wash. I have heard of people prewashing their precuts and I think it involves having to press and block the pieces afterward. I might do a test prewash though, because it could be a tangled mess with that many raw edges exposed.

      Good luck! Lucia

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      • Keri says:

        I have read in many places and books that fabrics cut in rolls actually shouldn’t be washed in a machine- they will be a mess. That said, I did soak my Blush reds to ensure they wouldn’t run. They didn’t run at all in the soak!

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  4. Keri says:

    I am new to quilting but made my first 39″ square quilt in class and two weeks into class was designing a quilt for my daughter, which I was sewing between classes. I am 45 blocks into an 80 block quilt & was just poking around the web when I saw your quilt! I am making a quilt out of blush fabrics in a very similar quilt design to yours! I found the pattern in The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker by Elizabeth Hartman. (which I LOVE!) I love to see what you’ve done with the fabric choices- the pieced bindings and the label are genius! Thanks for the inspiration! I am heading downstairs to work on block number 46!

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  5. corrie says:

    ohhhhh so pretty! I really love it! the best way I learnt free moetion was on 2 single bed quilts I did last year! they were a challenge but i learnt so much on them and they live in my kids beds:)

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  6. CJ says:

    Gorgeous quilt! I think you are being too hard on yourself. One consolation – the quilting does not show up easily so no one will be focusing on the quilting you are not happy with. Wondering what kind of ink you used for your labels.

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  7. Kristal says:

    I don’t thunk you made any ‘mistake’, the only thing I would have done different would have been to choose a more forgiving (matching) veriagated thread. Great job! I actually took inspiration from yours to do a quilt of my own kinda using this piecing pattern.

    Like

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