Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another WIP Bites the Dust!

Another WIP bites the dust!

I've been anxious to finish this quilt, because I made it for a friend, Matt. His wife, Robynn, received her quilt for her birthday in April. When I started the two quilts (nearly 2 years ago) I hadn't really intended the quilts to be birthday gifts, but Robynn's was done at the appropriate time, so I couldn't resist sending it to her for her birthday. Matt's birthday followed about 7 1/2 weeks after Robynn's, and unfortunately I just couldn't get his quilted, bound, and washed in the time between their two birthdays. So being late, I'm eager for him to have it.

The quilt measures 66 X 78, and is composed of thirty, twelve inch blocks.

I made this quilt around Matt's favorite color, turquoise. Turquoise is an interesting color. I had always thought of turquoise as being a specific shade of blue; a subset of blue so to speak. However, when I started rummaging through my stash, and looking at fabric online, I realized it wasn't that simple. There are the blue turquoises and the green turquoises. I asked a few fellow quilters which color people mean when they speak of turquoise. As you might expect, I got several different answers. At that point, I decided to use both the blue and green turquoises in Matt's quilt. Delving into the color in earnest, it became obvious that while turquoise may be a subset of blue (or perhaps green), it is so much more than that. The different shades of turquoise are seemingly endless. I began looking at the color in a whole new way. What fun!
Matt's quilt is the first quilt in which I did any free motion quilting. While I did stitch in the ditch around each block and did a significant amount of straight line quilting, I free motioned the "petals" that are the main motif in each block.
I learned a lot about free motion quilting from this experience, but I still have a long way to go:

1.) I got better at controlling speed and motion.

2.) I realized that although my skills will most certainly improve over time (I hope), free motion quilting will never have the same look as machine controlled straight line quilting. However, some people like incredibly talented lady at Ivory Spring get exceptionally close. (For anyone interested in getting tips from a pro, you should check out her blog series articles, "Thread Talk".) Free motion quilting is more art than drafting. Both give wonderful results, but they are distinctly different.

3.) I also decided that perhaps a smaller motif that utilized only 1/4 of the block might have been easier to manage than the petals that ranged over nearly the full 12 inches of the block. I'll give that a try on my next quilt.

So in a nutshell, free motion quilting went from totally terrifying to enjoyably terrifying. HA!

While a quilter always sees the flaws, and things she wishes she'd done a bit differently, I'll say that overall, I'm pretty pleased with the way this quilt turned out. I hope Matt is too.

I'll be linking up over at Amylouwho's for Sew and Tell Friday, and at Lit and Laundry for Finished for Friday. Check out these blogs and see everyone else's wonderful work.

30 comments:

  1. That is beautiful! Of course, I'm partial to blues, as you know. Turquoise...blue or green? That's an interesting question. When I look at your quilt, I see colors I would call teal, aqua, and turquoise. I won't tell you which ones, though. I'm sure everyone will see something a little different.

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  2. WOW! Why didn't you send it to me instead?! lol! It's a gorgeous quilt, and I do LOVE the colors! Indeed, turquoise is a very interesting color, and I have often thought; is it blue - is it green.... And like JKP says in her comment; aqua and teal - what are they? These are colors that appeal to me - matching with pink.... One day... no, on my bucket list - I'll make a quilt in these colors!

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  3. Oh, wow, that turned out so well! It's beautiful! Nice job on the petals...they are so uniform, and I can't yet imagine how that would be done, being a newbie. I know what you mean about blue turquoise and green turquoise. I am partial to the blue subset, but they all look good together in your gorgeous quilt.

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  4. Gorgeous quilt! Your petals are very good-definitely one of the hardest things to do in free motion quilting are symmetric designs.

    I loved the turquoise discussion: I think of turquoise in the middle with aqua on the blue side and teal on the green side but at first glance I definitely thought of your quilt as blue!

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  5. Beautiful colours! I'm still a novice machine quilter but getting braver. Thanks for sharing your tips. Found you at Lit and Laundry Linky...

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  6. So so pretty. I love all the different aqua/turquoise blues, beautiful!

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  7. I so know what you mean about the variations in one color -- you don't realize it until you start working with it. ("Turquoise: this one is too blue, this one is too green." "Purple: this one is too red, this one is too blue.") But scrappy is wonderful and in the end the result is terrifice!

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  8. WOOT! Congrats on the finish!

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  9. I love this quilt! I made a "turquoise" one for my son and encountered the same color issues. Now I think it's a really fun color.

    Does your sewing machine have a half-speed setting? When I first started free motion quilting someone gave me the advice to set it at half speed and just floor it. That was a great way to keep the speed even as I learned to control it.

    Thanks so much for joining in on Finished for Friday.

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  10. I just bought my first free motion foot for my machine, and I'm inspired. (But then I saw Ivory Spring's Sew and Tell today. Wow, she is absolutely incredible. Incredible!)

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  11. I think it's beautiful and I love the use of colors! Great Friday Finish!

    Congratulations!

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  12. Great finish! How good is it when 'another one bites the dust'. Sounds like you learnt a lot making this quilt about free motion quilting.

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  13. wow! this is beautiful! The quilting looks great!

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  14. Beautiful quilt. I love the colors you used! What a wonderful Friday finish!

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  15. A beautiful quilt that I'm sure the recipient will love. Isn't it amazing how many turquiose's there is when you look. They all look great together though!

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  16. Gorgeous colours Michelle. Love the mix of shapes and quilting as well.

    This quilt really does have stacks of the WOW factor going on!

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  17. This quilt is well worth the wait. Love the pattern these two blocks make.

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  18. It's true that in any quilting the larger the design the more difficult to keep "perfect" so hand guided quilting will never equal computer driven for perfection of execution, but it has it's own charm. The larger the curve, the more likely for a wobble somewhere, that's just how it is!

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  19. I am sure your friend loves the quilt. The color choices are stunning and I think you did a really good job with the quilting. I am like you, just now getting involved in machine quilting. I find that I can't think of anything else while machine quilting or I lose the rythm!

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  20. Great cheerful colors!!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  21. Lovely:) And Im in love with your first quilt too

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  22. Your quilts are so beautiful! I'm so jealous of your ability! I have never quilted, mainly because I'm afraid to start, I'm not confident enough in my skills! Thanks so much for your kind comments on my blog! I hope to see you again. I'm your newest follower!

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  23. This is really stunning, I am sure your friend will love receiving this on his birthday! You did a wonderful job on it!

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  24. Very nice! The color combination is great!

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  25. Michelle,

    What a lovely finish!!! Keep quilting, and you will get better! :) Thanks for making a mention of me... :)

    I am having fun catching up with your blog.

    Have a lovely night.

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  26. Michelle, this is beautiful!!! Love those turquoise fabrics. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. How did I miss this post? You did a beautiful job! I love the colors and your quilting is very nice!

    xo -E

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  28. Beautiful.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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Your comments brighten my day. :-)