Hi habibis! It’s Christmas Eve – Advent has flown!
Today, for our final Advent post, I’ll share the quilting for R and M’s wedding quilt, “Wedding Knot: Love is the Tie that Binds.” See parts I and II here and here.
The quilting was by far the hardest part, on my little Kenmore. As I mentioned before, I’d decided to downsize to a queen sized quilt instead of a king. It’s still the largest quilt I’ve ever made. (Previously the largest quilt I’d ever made was their engagement quilt.) Here’s the thing: it’s still too large. I don’t have the space for a queen sized quilt. I’m sewing on a Kenmore on my childhood desk. That was a headache.
This is the quilt I’ve been practicing my FMQ for. I knew I wanted to do wavy lines on it. I tried different things on different doll quilts to see what I liked, and I settled on vertical wavy lines going down the “columns” formed within the pattern.
I started with the center and quilted wavy lines in gold thread. I quilted three lines going all the way from the top to the bottom.
Next I should have gone to the right and done the same, but I thought about it and changed my mind about the design. I decided I wanted to quilt the rectangles in matching colors. I started with the gold and quilted each section of the two gold rectangles with three wavy lines. I love how it looks where I turned the corners.
Next I did the same for the green rectangles. I did wavy lines on the remaining background cream fabric, in cream. (Now I wish I’d done the center in cream thread instead of gold, but the gold adds extra interest.) I did the same around the borders.
I’ve seen quilters talk about how the quilting adds movement to their quilts, and that’s how I feel about this.
I love the look of it, but the quilting was problematic. My skin is drier in the cooler weather so my hands got all scratched up from the pins. Also, I had a lot of issues with bunching. My pinning wasn’t great. (My pinning is never perfect, especially on larger quilts.) The way I quilted it – sections of different rectangles at a time, which overlap – exacerbated that. Some of the cream sections bunched up against gold sections that I’d already quilted. Just imagine how quickly I could have finished his quilt if I’d just done wavy lines across the stripes! But then it would be less meaningful.
Had I just quilted vertical wavy lines from the center outward I wouldn’t have these bunching problems, and maybe I wouldn’t have scratched my hands up so much, but I like this quilting better even with the bunching. I tried to compensate for the bunching by pushing the folds flat and sewing over them. I prefer that to the fabric being raised. Other people probably wouldn’t. Either way I get that it looks messy. (Actually I think sewing over the folds looks pretty cool and I’d like to experiment with that in a quilt sometimes.) None of my quilts will ever be perfect and I don’t mind that. I obviously need to work on my FMQ, but as frustrating as working with such a large quilt was, I was pretty happy with the FMQ experience given my limitations.
The quilting took me approximately 10 hours. I don’t know if that’s normal for such a big quilt, but I did simple FMQ.
I finished the quilt with binding made from the top green fabric. I made R and M a tag with their names, the name of the quilt, and the date of their wedding. Putting the binding on and sewing it down took approximately 6 hours. Making the tag and sewing it on took 30 minutes, so the quilt took a grand total of 32 and a half hours.
Here are some pictures of the quilting. I don’t have a picture of the finished quilt because it’s too big for my apartment. Maybe my brother can take one for me. I think he and M really loved the quilt, especially M, and her mom even said the same thing. I gave it to them at their wedding brunch so I could see them open it.
Quilting in progress:
Close ups of the quilting:
Don’t the corners look cool?
The quilting from the back:
Thank you for joining me all Advent for these posts! Thanks to Nikki and T-Rex, my guest posters! I’ll go back to a more limited posting schedule soon – I’ll have a couple of extra posts in the next week, and then beginning January 6th (the Epiphany! the last day of Christmas in the church calendar) I’ll resume my regular Tuesday posting schedule. I hope you’ve enjoyed the Advent calendar posts. Enjoy any holidays that you celebrate – Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa – and have a safe and happy New Year!