Yesterday I showed you the rest of the hand quilting. Today let’s talk about the finished quilt.
I knew I wanted to do a scrappy red, white, and blue binding.
I pulled out leftover pieces from the quilt and other red, white, and blue fabrics, looking particularly for graphic/geometric and nautical prints. I also used this Pledge of Allegiance fabric I got from my guild. (Everyone who made a charity quilt with the shirting fabric – see mine here – got to pick a fat quarter of fabric as a prize back in June. They were all patriotic and I chose the pledge fabric thinking that I might use it for this quilt as part of a pieced back. I ended up not piecing the back but I knew I wanted to incorporate the pledge fabric regardless.)
I also used this anchor fabric leftover from Z’s storm at sea quilt from last year, some blue polka dots, and more of the fabric leftover from my grandpa’s train quilt. Most of the white fabric is leftover from my drunkards path quilt.
The binding is all done red, white, and blue in that order. I love it. I wish I’d made the binding pieces shorter, actually, to have a greater variety, but this is my first scrappy binding for a big quilt and I’m still learning.
I cut my binding at three inches and sewed an extra seam 1/2 inch to the right of my seam so I’d end up with scrappy half square triangles. I don’t know what I’ll use them for, but they’ll make something cute! (That’s why I used three inch strips – specifically to get the HSTs. I thought if I used 2.5″ strips the leftovers would be too tiny.)
Here’s the final quilt! (The picture was taken before I finished quilting all the red stars, but they blend in so well that you can’t tell.)
I made a quilt tag using more scraps and more of the pledge fabric. It has the name of the quilt, the date of our anniversary, and a message from me to Z. Normally I iron the edges under and the hand see the tag down with a running or a blanket stitch, but I didn’t have a lot of leeway for the edges so I sewed the turned-under edges on my machine and then hand sewed it to the quilt. From this distance you can’t tell; if you look up close you can see the two sets of red stitches, but that doesn’t bother me.
The quilt took me approximately 115 hours to complete, give or take 10 minutes. That’s the longest I’ve ever spent on a quilt. And I’m not done! I want to enter it in my guild’s show in spring. I’ll need to add a sleeve and I didn’t quilt as many stars as I wanted to. The two topmost and bottommost stripes are blank. I want to quilt more stars (white ones this time) in the two red stripes and blue stars in the two white stripes. I think that’ll make a really cool border. I just didn’t have time for another 48 stars. I’ll need to make a second tag with actual quilt information on it, too. Lastly I need to make sure I can get all the pencil marks out of it, and wash it.
When I told Z I wanted to enter it in the show, he immediately handed it back to me. (So sweet!) I assured him he could keep it in the interim. When the show gets closer I’ll take it to work on. (I’m going to feel so bad taking it back from him!) Z really loves the quilt. I knew he would. I put so much love into it and spent so much time thinking about what he’d like and making it special and personal for him.
I don’t think my piecing or my quilting are technically perfect by any sense of the word, but I think my design is really special. I’m planning to enter it for judging and see how creativity counts vs. technical skill.